Exhibitions/ Art Object

"Angada, Prince of the Monkeys, Destroys Ravana’s Palace and Steals His Crown," Illustrated folio from the “Shangri" Ramayana (The Adventures of Rama) (Style III)

Object Name:
Illustrated manuscript folio
ca. 1700–30
Attributed to India, Punjab Hills
Opaque watercolor on paper
H. 13 3/4 in. (35 cm) W. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Promised Gift of the Kronos Collections, 2015
Not on view
In this lively illustration to an incident described in Part Five (the Lanka or Sundara
kanda) of the Ramayana (Adventures of Rama), the ten­headed Ravana, king of the demons
and Rama’s implacable foe, is seated in his palace on the island of Lanka (Ceylon, or Sri
Lanka), guarded by two demon servants. (For five other illustrated folios from the “Shangri
Ramayana Series,” see cat. nos. 45, 46, 48, 49, and 50.) Angada, prince of the monkeys and
Rama’s ally, had earlier flown to Lanka to spy on Ravana’s armies. Having nearly
accomplished his mission, Angada allowed himself to be captured, for there were other things
he needed to know., and there were other things he wanted to do. In captivity, leaping on the
roof of Ravana’s palace, a roof as “high as a mountain,” he destroyed it as if by lightning.
“Having destroyed the roof of the palace, Angada proclaimed (Rama’s) name and with a
triumphant roar rose into the air. To the exceeding terror of the (demons) and the great delight
of the (monkeys), he alighted in the midst “ of the monkey tribe to report to Rama, safely
encamped with his armies on the adjoining mainland, all that he had seen in Ravana’s island
stronghold. (1) The artist of this painting has added one further delightful yet unrequired touch
to the narrative: in leaping upwards, Angada has taken hold of Ravana’s ten­part crown.
(1) The Ramayana of Valmiki, translated by Hari Prasad Shastri (London: Shanti
Sadan, 1959), Vol. III, pg. 101
Inscription: Inscribed on the reverse in black ink written in devanagari script: “21 / Lanka”
Swiss Collection 1983

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Divine Pleasures: Painting from India's Rajput Courts - The Kronos Collection," June 13, 2016–September 11, 2016.