[INDOLOGY] Fwd: Help on mystery painting of Ramayana (?) episode

Valerie Roebuck vjroebuck at btinternet.com
Mon Aug 24 02:59:41 EDT 2015

The picture is missing from the email as I received it.

Valerie J Roebuck
Manchester, UK

> On 24 Aug 2015, at 01:00, Robert Goldman <rpg at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> Dear Colleagues,
> I am forwarding a message posted on RISA-L by Professor Lutgendorf of the University of Iowa concerning a painting that is expected to be part of an upcoming exhibit on the Rāmāyaṇa at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, an exhibit with which I too am involved.  We would be most grateful to any one who can shed light on the scene depicted in the painting. 
> Best.
> Dr. R. P.  Goldman
> Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South and Southeast Asian Studies
> Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies MC # 2540
> The University of California at Berkeley
> Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
> Tel: 510-642-4089
> Fax: 510-642-2409
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: "Lutgendorf, Philip A" <philip-lutgendorf at uiowa.edu <mailto:philip-lutgendorf at uiowa.edu>>
>> Subject: Help on mystery painting of Ramayana (?) episode
>> Date: August 23, 2015 at 4:50:25 PM PDT
>> To: RISA-L <risa-l at lists.sandiego.edu <mailto:risa-l at lists.sandiego.edu>>
>> Cc: Forrest McGill <fmcgill at asianart.org <mailto:fmcgill at asianart.org>>, Bob Goldman <rpg at calmail.berkeley.edu <mailto:rpg at calmail.berkeley.edu>>
>> Dear RISA colleagues,
>> The painting below is presently owned by the Brooklyn Museum and attributed to the court of Mandi during the period of Raja Sidh Sen or Raja Shamser Sen. It shows a blue-clad warrior prince (who might be Rama, without bush skin, or Lakshmana) firing an arrow upward while (apparently) gazing at the reflection of his target in a shallow bowl of water — perhaps a sort of skill-test, like that undertaken by Arjuna at Draupadi’s svayamvara. The figures to the right appear to be Vibhishana and Hanuman, with a female face looking out from behind the former; the figure to the left is clearly Ravana, complete with a donkey’s head as his tenth head (as is often found in paintings), who is bleeding from the stumps of three of his hands—as if the battle between him and Rama/Lakshmana had been interrupted by the reverse-shot episode.
>> I know of no literary or oral source for this incident. Does anyone? The painting is to be used in an upcoming exhibit and any assistance in positively identifying its subject would be gratefully acknowledged.
>> Best,
>> Philip Lutgendorf

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