Illustration to the Ramayana

Illustration to the Ramayana: Lakshmana Pulls a Thorn from Rama's Foot
India, Punjab
Late 18th century
Watercolor
Gift of Jayantilal K. and Geeta J. Patel and Family to further the study of Hinduism
This illustration to the Ramayana is an intimate miniature painted scene from the Indian epic of the Ramayana. As a result of palace intrigue, Rama has been banished from his rightful throne for fourteen years. In solidarity and service, his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana have followed him into exile. In this scene, Lakshmana tenderly removes a thorn from his brother Rama’s foot as the latter steadies himself, his hand upon Hanuman’s shoulder. This brotherly act of compassion takes place in a calm forest setting with a golden-hued sky as backdrop.
The figures are rendered with great delicacy and artfulness, their hair streaked with gold to match the sky. The Museum will build a collection of scenes from the Ramayana, which is taught by Dr. Flueckiger and others in Emory’s Departments of Religion and Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies each year.