The Demon Marichi Tries to Dissuade Ravana
India (Himachal Pradesh, Kangra)
Ink, opaque watercolor, silver, and gold on paper
9 3/4 x 14 in. (24.8 x 35.6 cm)
Gift of Cynthia Hazen Polsky, 1985
After Ravana decides to abduct Sita, he leaves his golden palace in Lanka, seen in the background, and travels over an ocean filled with fantastic creatures in his gem-studded chariot to find the demon Maricha, who is in the forest practicing asceticism. After hearing his intentions, a terrified Maricha tries unsuccessfully to dissuade Ravana. Maricha goes on to transform himself into a golden deer to lure Rama into the forest and thereby facilitate Ravana's kidnapping of Sita, an action that ultimately leads to Maricha's death. By the late eighteenth century the Kangra workshop was at its creative and technical zenith. The artist boldly filled much of the daring composition with a swirling ocean to indicate the remote and wild nature of Maricha's retreat whilst conveying a complex narrative.