The Monkey Leader Angada Steals Ravana's Crown from His Fortress
Attributed to Manaku (active ca. 1725–60)
India (Punjab Hills, Guler)
Ink and opaque watercolor on paper
22 5/16 x 33 in. (56.7 x 83.8 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1919
Not on view
This scene is described in Valmiki's Ramayana: "Then [Angada] the powerful son of Bali, scaled [Ravana's] palace up to its roof . . . the impact of his bounds caused it to crumble." The great monkey warrior Angada is shown four times: leaping over the ramparts and casting down demons, stealing Ravana's crown, flying though the air to return to Rama's camp, and attending the crowning of Vibhishana, the rightful ruler of Lanka. The recovery of the crown does not feature in the Ramayana text and appears to have been invented by the artist to give visual authority to Rama, seen here fulfilling his divine mission to restore virtuous rule to the world. This Ramayana series was never finished. In this folio the color had been blocked in but details are lacking; other folios from the series exist only as ink-brush drawings.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Marking: Inscription on margin, with Sanskrit extract from Ramayana
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy , Boston, by 1919, sold to MMA]
New York. China House. "Indian Paintings, Eleventh to Twentieth Century," May 3, 1956–May 25, 1956.
Gainesville. University of Florida. "Miniatures and Small Sculptures from India," April 10, 1966–May 29, 1966.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Ramayana," July 6, 2005–October 9, 2005.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Epic India: Scenes from the Ramayana," March 30, 2010–September 19, 2010.