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The Destruction of Daksha's sacrifice, from an illustrated manuscript of the Razmnama (Book of War)
Place of Origin: Pakistan, Lahore or Northen India
Date: 1598-1600
Materials: Opaque watercolors and gold on paper
Style or Ware: Mughal
Dimensions: H. 11 7/8 in x W. 7 in, H. 30.2 cm x W. 17.8 cm
Credit Line: Acquisition made possible by the George Hopper Fitch Bequest
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 2007.12
On Display: No

Description

Label: This early Mughal period painting comes from an illustrated imperial manuscript of the Razmnama, a Persian translation of the great Hindu epic the Mahabharata. The Muslim Mughal emperor Akbar (reigned 1556–1605), in whose reign this painting was completed, commissioned Persian translations of the Mahabharata and the other great Hindu epic, the Ramayana, to demonstrate his interest in Hindu religion and culture. Three major illustrated copies of the Razmnama are known; these are dated to 1598–1600, 1605, and 1616–1617. This painting comes from the earliest of these manuscripts. One of the most remarkable features of this illustrated Razmnama is that it depicts many stories ancillary to the central narrative. The story told here is as follows: Daksha, father-in-law to the powerful Hindu deity Shiva, held a sacrificial ceremony to which he invited everyone but Shiva. At the ceremony, Daksha continued to insult Shiva. Enraged, Shiva's wrath became personified as Virabhadra, and he and his companions attacked the ceremony, breaking vessels, killing guests, and decapitating Daksha.

More Information

Exhibition History: Arts of the Islamic World from Turkey to Indonesia (Tateuchi Gallery, September 5, 2008 - March 1, 2009)
Label: This early Mughal period painting comes from an illustrated imperial manuscript of the Razmnama, a Persian translation of the great Hindu epic the Mahabharata. The Muslim Mughal emperor Akbar (reigned 1556–1605), in whose reign this painting was completed, commissioned Persian translations of the Mahabharata and the other great Hindu epic, the Ramayana, to demonstrate his interest in Hindu religion and culture. Three major illustrated copies of the Razmnama are known; these are dated to 1598–1600, 1605, and 1616–1617. This painting comes from the earliest of these manuscripts. One of the most remarkable features of this illustrated Razmnama is that it depicts many stories ancillary to the central narrative. The story told here is as follows: Daksha, father-in-law to the powerful Hindu deity Shiva, held a sacrificial ceremony to which he invited everyone but Shiva. At the ceremony, Daksha continued to insult Shiva. Enraged, Shiva's wrath became personified as Virabhadra, and he and his companions attacked the ceremony, breaking vessels, killing guests, and decapitating Daksha.
Exhibition History: Arts of the Islamic World from Turkey to Indonesia (Tateuchi Gallery, September 5, 2008 - March 1, 2009)