Rama's Brother Pulling A Thorn From His Foot
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2011.97
Title
Rama's Brother Pulling a Thorn from His Foot
Other Titles
Series/Book Title: Illustration from the Ramayana
Classification
Albums
Work Type
album folio
Date
c. 1700-1710
Places
Creation Place: South Asia, India, Northern India, Pahari
Culture
Indian
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Dimensions
17.5 x 26 cm (6 7/8 x 10 1/4 in.)
Provenance
Philip Hofer [mid 20th century]. Stuart Cary Welch, Jr. Collection, New Hampsire (by 1969-2011), sold; [Sotheby’s, London, 5/31/2011, lot 54]; to Harvard Art Museums, 2011.

Notes:
This painting came to Harvard Art Museums on 1 April 1969 as temporary loan TL17444.214, and in 1983 was designated as long term loan, 440.1983.
Aquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Richard Norton Memorial Fund
Accession Year
2011
Object Number
2011.97
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Description
This is an unusual scene in Pahari painting of the Ramayana. The illustration depicts a tender moment in which the blue-skinned Rama, supported by two warriors, has a thorn removed from his foot by his brother. The theatrical gestures of the figures and the body pose of the main protagonist may suggest link to Christo-European scenes.

Label Text: India: From Tribe to Court, written 1981
Rama’s brother pulling a thorn from his foot, from a Ramayana series.
Panjab Hills, Chamba, ca. 1680
TL 17444.214 [draft]

Label Text: Indian Miniatures From the Plains and the Hills, written 1979
3. A THORN IS REMOVED FROM RAMA’S FOOT, from a Ramayana
Punjab Hills, Kulu (?); ca. 1700
Private Collection; formerly in the collection of Philip Hofer

Rama, along with Krishna, is accorded a special reverence in the Hindu tradition as an incarnation of Vishnu. The graceful forms and careful drawing of this work exemplify the early Pahari style. Of special note is the extensive use of impasto technique in the jewelry and the raised and stamped ornamentation on crowns, garlands, quivers, and other accessories.

Label Text: Hot as Curry - Subtle as Moonlight: Masterpieces of Rajput Painting, written 1991
The Death of Rama
Punjab Hills, Basohli style (at Chamba?), ca. 1680
Opaque watercolor on paper
Private collection
440.1983

Publication History

Stuart Cary Welch and Mark Zebrowski, A Flower from Every Meadow: Indian Paintings from American Collections, exh. cat., New York Graphic SocietyNew York Graphic Society (New York, NY, 1973), Page 70/Figure 37

Exhibition History

India: From Tribe to Court, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/01/1981 - 01/01/1981

Out of the Hills: Miniature Painting from Himalayan India, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/26/1984 - 07/08/1984

Hot as Curry - Subtle as Moonlight: Masterpieces of Rajput Painting, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/02/1991 - 12/20/1991

Recent Acquisitions, Part II: Building the Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/19/2012 - 09/29/2012

Verification Level

2 - Adequate. Object is adequately described but information may not be vetted