Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana being Honored by Sages, Hanuman, and his Army
India (Tamil Nadu)
H. 5 15/16 in. (15.1 cm); W. 4 in. (10.2 cm); D. 3/8 in. (1 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Klejman, 1962
Not on view
This small panel, probably for worship in a household shrine, depicts an enthroned Rama, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, attended by his consort, Sita,and to her right Rama's younger brother, Lakshmana, holding a bow. The noble ensemble is being venerated by an assembly of holy men (rishis) and Hanuman's monkey army, all holding their hands in anjali mudra, a gesture of reverence. Hanuman himself kneels before his Lord and touches his foot, an act of profound respect. The divine setting is evoked by the architecture, typical of a south Indian temple shrine and gateway (gopura), enhanced by celestial musicians and garland bearers (vidyadharas) who resemble European cherubs. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Nayak sculpture, especially miniature works in ivory, came to display an increasing awareness of European imagery.