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The heroes Rama and Lakshmana witness the death of the great vulture Jatayus and prepare his cremation, from the Ramayana (Epic of Rama)
Place of Origin: India, Himachal Pradesh state, former kingdom of Kangra
Date: 1830-1840
Object Name: Painting
Materials: Ink, opaque watercolors, and gold on paper
Dimensions: H. 14 7/16 in x W. 18 in, H. 36.6 cm x W. 45.7 cm
Credit Line: Acquisition made possible by the George Hopper Fitch Bequest
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 2015.40
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:

The only witness to Sita’s abduction has been Jatayus, the king of the vultures, who valiantly engaged in combat with Ravana but was mortally wounded when Ravana cut off his wings. Rama and Lakshmana, searching for the missing Sita, chance upon Jatayus as he lies dying and hear from him what has happened to Sita. The artist here tells this story as a continuous narrative, from left to right, with the figures of Rama and Lakshmana appearing multiple times. First the heroes encounter the mortally wounded Jatayus (who looks less like a vulture than a dove). After Jatayus dies, Rama and Lakshmana, determined that he shall have an honorable funeral, carry his body toward a cremation fire, cradling it gently. Afterward (at the back) they perform cleansing rituals in the river and proceed on their journey in search of Sita. A deity floating on a cloud observes the scenes.

(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:

The only witness to Sita’s abduction has been Jatayus, the king of the vultures, who valiantly engaged in combat with Ravana but was mortally wounded when Ravana cut off his wings. Rama and Lakshmana, searching for the missing Sita, chance upon Jatayus as he lies dying and hear from him what has happened to Sita. The artist here tells this story as a continuous narrative, from left to right, with the figures of Rama and Lakshmana appearing multiple times. First the heroes encounter the mortally wounded Jatayus (who looks less like a vulture than a dove). After Jatayus dies, Rama and Lakshmana, determined that he shall have an honorable funeral, carry his body toward a cremation fire, cradling it gently. Afterward (at the back) they perform cleansing rituals in the river and proceed on their journey in search of Sita. A deity floating on a cloud observes the scenes.

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