Online Collection

Collections



Asian Art Museum Logo
Manuscript cabinet with scenes from the Thai version of the Ramayana
Place of Origin: Thailand
Date: approx. 1800-1900
Object Name: Furniture
Materials: Lacquered and gilded wood with iron fittings
Dimensions: H. 61 1/2 in x W. 38 in x D. 31 1/4 in, H. 156.2 cm x W. 96.5 cm x D. 79.4 cm
Credit Line: Gift from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation's Southeast Asian Art Collection
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Decorative Arts
Object Number: 2006.27.41
On Display: No

More Information

Exhibition History: "The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe," Asian Art Museum, October 21, 2015–January 15, 2017
Additional Label:

At the lower part of the front doors of this cabinet, chariots bear (from left to right) Sita, Rama, his brother Lakshmana, and Vibhishana, a demon prince who is Rama’s ally.

On the upper parts of these doors and on the right side of the cabinet are scenes of battle from the climactic war between Rama’s forces and those of Ravana. The figures are so ingeniously twisted and turned amidst the melee of battle that it is difficult to tell the characters apart. Rama’s monkey troops usually have a rounded jowl and protruding muzzle, and demons usually have bulbous noses. The major monkey and demon characters are dressed finely and have a pointed aureole around their heads. At the lower border of the panel the monkeys are depicted more naturalistically and with great humor.

Elaborate cabinets such as this, which would have been costly, were used in palaces and temples to hold religious, literary, or historical manuscripts.

(Exhibition Label from The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe)


Exhibition History: "The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe," Asian Art Museum, October 21, 2015–January 15, 2017
Expanded Label:

At the lower part of the front doors of this cabinet, chariots bear (from left to right) Sita, Rama, his brother Lakshmana, and Vibhishana, a demon prince who is Rama’s ally.

On the upper parts of these doors and on the right side of the cabinet are scenes of battle from the climactic war between Rama’s forces and those of Ravana. The figures are so ingeniously twisted and turned amidst the melee of battle that it is difficult to tell the characters apart. Rama’s monkey troops usually have a rounded jowl and protruding muzzle, and demons usually have bulbous noses. The major monkey and demon characters are dressed finely and have a pointed aureole around their heads. At the lower border of the panel the monkeys are depicted more naturalistically and with great humor.

Elaborate cabinets such as this, which would have been costly, were used in palaces and temples to hold religious, literary, or historical manuscripts.

(Exhibition Label from The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe)