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Rama on Hanuman fighting Ravana
1974,0617,0.14(2)
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This painting depicts the climax of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana, in which the god-hero Rama fights to rescue his wife Sita who had been abducted by the demon Ravana. The battle takes place on the island of Lanka. Rama is helped by the monkey-general Hanuman and his warriors and is shown here seated on Hanuman's shoulders firing a bow at the ten-headed and blue-skinned Ravana. Another monkey-warrior wrestles a demon-warrior to the ground. The Ramayana is one of India's best-loved stories and has been depicted in paintings and sculpture for centuries. It is still re-enacted in dramas and even on television to this day.

History of the Object
This painting comes from an album produced in Tamil Nadu around 1820. Its colours, style, and indeed the subject matter are clearly local and southern Indian. However, the album is of European paper and bound. Other paintings in the album include festival processions from temples, schematic diagrams of south Indian temples and many other myths. It is not clear whether albums such as these were produced for local or European patrons.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
Album painting on paper 
Measurements
Width 203.0 cm Height 29.5 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Tanjore or Trichinopoly, Tamil Nadu 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; around 1820 
Function
 
Acquisition
Transferred from the British Library (Dept of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books) 
Copyright
Copyright Trustees of the British Museum 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
British Museum 
Museum
British Museum 
Credit line
 

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