The Royal Ramayana in pictures

Rajput king Rana Jagat Singh of Mewar, who saw himself as an inheritor of the mantle of Lord Ram commissioned the illustrated manuscript of 'Mewar Ramayana', with over 400 paintings, in 1649. This was given to a team of artists and a scribe, who would put together the mammoth project.

The work that they produced is now the “finest surviving” illustrated manuscript of the epic; about 250 paintings are now preserved at the British Library in London, and a few others are with museums in Mumbai and Jodhpur, as well as in private collections. It is now brought out as a book 'Illustrated Manuscripts of the Mewar Ramayana’ by Roli Books.

The paintings, spread over seven volumes, have been influenced by three different styles of contemporary Mewar paintings: that of artist Sahib Din, Manohar and a few others from the Deccan, says JP Losty, co-author of the book, and retired head of visual arts at the British Library, where he worked for over three decades. 

Losty, who has done much work on the subject since 1971, says that while there have been other versions of the Ramayana, the Mewar one was the most elaborate. 

Read full report in The Hindustan Times

Read a different version of the report in The Open Magazine

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