The Sage Vishvamitra Requests from King Dasharatha the Assistance of His Son Rama: Folio from a Ramayana series
First generation after Manaku and Nainsukh
Workshop of Raja Sansar Chand
India (Himachal Pradesh, Kangra)
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
9 5/8 x 13 15/16 in. (24.5 x 35.4 cm)
Seymour Fund, 1976
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 464
In the central scene, the ascetic sage Vishvamitra asks King Dasaratha if his sons Rama and Lakshmana can help rid him of the demons Marichi and Subahu. After much debate the king agrees, and the brothers are seen with Vishvamitra departing through a gateway (lower right) and in a distant pavilion. This event sets the stage for Rama’s and Lakshmana’s interactions with ascetics in the forest and anticipates their many battles with demons throughout the Ramayana.
This painting is one of the great products of the Kangra court workshop of Raja Sansar Chand, characterized by a muted palette, naturalistic detail, daring spatial arrangements, and multiple perspectives.