Madhumadhavai Ragini: Page from a Dispersed Ragamala Series (Garland of Musical Modes)

The text of this Ragini tells of peacocks that cry at the threat of rain—here shown in the roiling black horizon and blue lines. Thinking that the peacock’s cry comes from hunger, a lady offers food. The audience would have also understood allusions to Nayikabheda poetry in which the abhisarika nayika (a heroine) travels at night in a storm to meet her lover. The figure type and color palette are distinctly Marwari, while the flattened architecture and color fields are characteristics shared with Malwa painting.

Ink and opaque watercolor on paper


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Metropolitan Museum of Art

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