Double-sided folio from a Ramayana series

India, Himachal Pradesh, unidentified sub-school

Not on view

These four folios (2018.360–.363) from a dispersed manuscript of fifty leaves, can be securely attributed to the hill schools (Pahari) of northern India on the basis of the ink annotations in Takri script, a variant of Devanagari, widely used in the hills. However, the precise school or atelier remains elusive. The paintings display a folkish hand emulating a courtly style, and the limited range of colors employed points to an atelier at which the more expensive pigments seen elsewhere in Pahari court paintings were either not available or unaffordable. The paper employed is in the horizontal format that persisted in provincial sub-schools of Indian painting, particularly those in the relative isolation of the remoter hill valleys of northern India, the probable home of the atelier responsible for this series. The style resonates most strongly with the Nurpur and Mankot sub-schools of Basholi court painting, in Himachal Pradesh.

Double-sided folio from a Ramayana series, Opaque watercolor on paper, India, Himachal Pradesh, unidentified sub-school

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