Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Monkey King Vali's Funeral Pyre

Date:
ca. 1780
Culture:
India (Himachal Pradesh, Kangra)
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
9 3/4 x 13 3/8 in. (24.8 x 34 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky Fund, 2004
Accession Number:
2004.367
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 251
Smoke rises from the funerary pyre of the monkey king Vali, who was murdered by his brother and rival, Sugriva, with the help of Rama. At the upper left, Sugriva approaches Rama, seated in a cave, who affirms his standing as king of the monkeys. Emphasizing Rama’s wilderness existence are the sages in front of the thatched huts in the center background. A small scene set within the mountains to the right shows Sugriva, Hanuman, Lakshmana, and the monkey army (but not Rama) returning to their vast and impenetrable golden capital to crown Sugriva as the new king.
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