Raga Sarang

Raga Sarang

$105
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3 to 4 weeks
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$21 (20%)
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$84
Item Code: HD34
Specifications:
Miniature Painting On Paper
Artist Kailash Raj
Kangra School
6.0" x 9.0"
Sri Raga has eight sons, of whom Saranga is the eldest. It is the melody of noon, when the sun is hot. A young lady is churning milk and the churning stick is tied to the wall of a pavilion. Splendidly attired, with ornaments decorating her ears, nose and forehead, and a pearl necklace round her neck, the lotus-faced lady, who was tasted the sweetness of her lover's kisses, seeks entrance into the adjoining room. Her lover is holding a cup to receive the buttermilk. In the background a woman is watering a cow. It is a picture of the summer with the hot sun in the sky, and glare on the horizon. It is thus that Raga Saranga is represented in Kangra Ragamala painting.

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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