Exhibitions/ Art Object

The Demon Kumbhakarna Is Defeated by Rama and Lakshmana

ca. 1670
India (Madhya Pradesh, Malwa)
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
8 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (21.6 x 16.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of George W. Bahlke, 2001
Accession Number:
Not on view
According to the Ramayana, Kumbhakarna, the terrifying giant and brother of Ravana, was causing great damage to the monkey army when Rama and Lakshmana entered the battle. Using magical arrows of great power, Rama severed Kumbhakarna's limbs and filled his mouth with pointed steel shafts. The pathos of the demon's defeat is emphasized by his dismembered body parts being carried away by the bear and monkey warriors. Compared to the Mughal depiction The Awakening of the Demon Kumbhakarna, which shows the giant sleeping, this Malwa portrayal focuses on his violent and bloody demise. The brilliant red and black color fields and the spatial ambiguity are drawn from earlier Hindu painting traditions of Malwa, where the Mughal style had little impact.
Related Objects

Krishna Revels with the Gopis: Page from a Dispersed Gita Govinda (Loves of Krishna)

Date: ca. 1630–40 Medium: Opaque watercolor and silver on paper Accession: 2003.165 On view in:Not on view

Maharana Sarup Singh Inspects a Prize Stallion

Artist: Tara (Indian, active 1836–1870) Date: 1845–46 Medium: Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper Accession: 2001.344 On view in:Gallery 464

The Death of the Demoness Putana: Folio from a Bhagavata Purana Series

Date: ca. 1610 Medium: Opaque watercolor and ink paper Accession: 2002.176 On view in:Gallery 251

Maharana Amar Singh II Is Shown Two Silver Elephants

Artist: Stipple Master (Indian, active ca. 1690–1715) Date: ca. 1705 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper Accession: 2003.238 On view in:Gallery 464

Maharana Raj Singh II in Procession with Members of His Court

Date: ca. 1755 Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Accession: 2004.408 On view in:Gallery 464