This preparatory drawing was for a painting intended for a Siege of Lanka series produced in the court studio at Guler (Rama Releases the Demon Spies Shuka and Sarana is a finished work from the series). Here, Ravana's son Indrajit, seated before a fire altar, makes an offering to the gods to secure the power to become invisible and fight his enemies from the air. Ravana's demons wait outside the temple holding offerings for the sacrifice; at their feet lays a decapitated goat, which Indrajit will offer to the god Agni. Following the success of this sacrifice, he attacked and overwhelmed Rama and Lakshmana, binding them with arrows (see Rama and Lakshmana Overwhelmed by Arrows). This drawing displays the skilled and subtle brushwork of the master artist Manaku and reveals his predilection for idiosyncratic solutions combined with a bold approach to composition.
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy , Boston, by 1919, sold to MMA]