There are 72 Ragamala paintings from Bilaspur in the collection of the Berlin Museum of Indian Art. These were acquired from a dealer of New Delhi who purchased them from Thakur Ishwari Singh Chandela, a member of Bilaspur Raj family. Ernst and Rose Leonore Waldschmidt, in their learned monograph, Miniatures of Musical Inspiration, ascribe them to the reign of Raja Devi Chand (1741-1778), and dated the series c. 1750. In 23 paintings the iconography has close resemblance with that of the Kangra Ragamala. In the rest it is different. It seems that the Kangra artist was familiar with the Ragamala paintings from Bilaspur. However, instead of copying from this series, he has simplified the composition, and in every case improved upon it. The Painting of Raga Saranga is a good illustration of this process.
Kangra Ragamala, however, does not show such situation, e.g., a man wrestling with a woman as depicted in Raga Malava of Bilaspur Ragamala paintings. Such situations are unheard of except in amorous encounters which, however, do not take place in wrestling arenas. As regards artistic quality contrast between the Bilaspur and Kangra Ragamala paintings is great. The latter are to the former as wine is to water.
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