Textile Panel with Scenes from the Ramayana
ca. 15th century
Silk embroidery on polished cotton
Overall: 15 3/8 x 13 1/8 in. (39.1 x 33.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1995
This remarkably fine Nepalese panel is a rare survivor of an important genre of textile art featuring figurative embroidery. It was likely part of a garment worn by Vaishnava priests officiating major acts of worship. The central field contains dramatic battle scenes: At the top, Ravana rides in his six-wheeled makara-drawn chariot. Below, the heroic triad of Rama, Lakshmana, and Hanuman battle a white demon, possibly Ravana’s brother, the giant Kumbhakarna (presumably also represented in the chariot above).