A Giant Demon, possibly Atikaya, Confronts Rama's Army
India (Madhya Pradesh, Datia?)
Watercolor and gold on paper
10 3/4 x 7 1/8 in. (27.3 x 18.1 cm)
Lent by Cynthia Hazen Polsky
Not on view
Atikaya, a son of Ravana, was one of the most powerful of the many demons that fought the bear and monkey armies outside the walls of the golden palace of Lanka. Ultimately, he was slain by Lakshmana, who can be seen conferring with Rama and Hanuman in the middle right. Although the presentation of this demon differs from the description of Atikaya in the Ramayana, an inscription on the reverse of the folio identifies him. This painting was likely commissioned by a patron outside the Mughal court at the height of Akbar's reign. The style clearly relates to metropolitan Mughal workshop productionin terms of the palette and the treatment of landscape elements and urban vista.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Epic India: Scenes from the Ramayana," March 30, 2010–September 19, 2010.