This is, however, only a physical description of the painting. In its spirit the miniature is the manifestation of Ragini Telangi, which is in musical discipline the spouse of Raga Hindola. In visual art Ragini Telangi has been perceived as a young lady seated on a golden chawki and attended by two maids applying to her oil and massaging. In some depictions one of them has been perceived as holding the tray containing oil-pot etc. and the other one applying oil to her person, whereas in other depictions, as here, both of them apply oil and do massage. Ragini Telangi is usually associated with autumn when the skin gets excessively dry and needs to be anointed. Hindola is the Raga of Shravana, the month of rains, when everything is so wet. The Hindola is, thus, appropriately wedded to Telangi, the Ragini of Phalguna, which is all dry.
Raga is a mode, a kind of discipline, in Indian classical music and sound is its universal medium, but the creative genius never accepted barriers. They gave to sound pictorial dimensions and to colours and lines the tremulousness of sound. Led by such creative compulsion the artists of medieval India tried, and quite successfully, to capture the essence of music, especially of various ragas and raginis, into their lines and colours and what they innovated on canvas constituted the Ragamala painting. The literature had preceded art in this transformation. Hence, art depended to a great extent on literary personification and visualisation of these ragas and raginis and followed for its rendering of them literary models of ragas and raginis.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.
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