Dhritarashtra Attacks the Statue of Bhima, Folio from a Razmnama (Book of Wars)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 693

Commissioned by the emperor Akbar in 1582 the Razmnama is a Persian translation of the Mahabharata, the Indian epic whose central narrative relates the rivalry and war between the Pandava family and their Kaurava cousins. This folio comes from an incomplete and widely dispersed Razmnama series made for the leading Mughal courtier and Commander-in-chief of the Mughal armies, Abd ur-Rahim Khan-i Khanan (1556–1626) who was also a poet, scholar and patron of art and literature. The painting illustrates an episode when the blind king Dhritarashtra has met the Pandavas again. Overcome by grief for his slain sons he angrily sets upon the warrior prince Bhima. But the god Krishna, and Pandava ally, pulls Bhima aside and miraculously substitutes an iron statue in his image. The old blind king crushes the iron Bhima with his bare hands before his anger finally passes

Dhritarashtra Attacks the Statue of Bhima, Folio from a Razmnama (Book of Wars), Opaque color and gold on paper

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