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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Culture: Indian
Title: Coronation of Rama
Date: ca. 1800
Medium: Opaque watercolors on paper
Dimensions: Image: 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches (22.2 x 16.5 cm)
Credit Line: George and Mary Rockwell Collection
Object Number: 69.010
Label Text: This episode from the great Hindu epic Ramayana illustrates the jubilant scene when Rama and Sita return to the kingdom of Ayodhya. After all the hardships of exile and war, it was time for the rightful coronation to take place and lavish preparations were made at the palace. The painting depicts Rama and Sita, regally attired, sitting on a bejeweled throne beneath a canopy on a terrace surrounded by a large gathering of onlookers, including his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugana, and his allies Hanuman, Sugriva and Vibhishana. The painting details the moment during the coronation ceremony when Rama is anointed by the sage Vasishta, while a crowd of other sages and priests, including Vamadeva, Jabali, Kashyapa, Katyayana, Gautama and Vijaya, offer their blessings. The winged apsaras, celestial beings and consorts sing praises from the sky and shower the auspicious scene with flowers and garlands.

The folio is an example of the Kishangarh school of painting. Though painting at Kishangarh is best recognized in the highly-stylized elegance of the work of Nihal Chand patronized by Raja Sawant Singh (1699-1764), even about a century later, while not as lyrical as earlier works, there is nonetheless a delicacy and careful detailing of figures, architectural elements and vegetation, in the entire composition.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.