Ragini Bhairavi, from a Garland of Musical Modes (Ragamala) manuscript Artist: Unknown

18th century

Asian Art

Ragini Bhairavi is shown in this painting as a female devotee worshipping at a sumptuously decorated shrine dedicated to the god Shiva. A musical mode performed in the early morning, Bhairavi is a manifestation of the goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva. The devotee is accompanied by female attendants, while a priest is seated next to the shrine. The flowers, bell, and conch shell placed in the foreground are accoutrements of ritual worship. The painting captures the passion of devotion and blurs the boundaries between romance—as experienced by the ideal lovers Shiva and Parvati—and piety toward the divine. This musical mode is said to be soft with pleasing notes, echoing the love and reverence shown in the painting.


Opaque watercolor on paper


Approx.: 17 1/2 × 11 3/4 in. (44.5 × 29.8 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Lauder Greenway, B.A. 1925, Ph.D. 1930

Accession Number



Mughal dynasty (1526–1857)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Said to have been given by the Maharaja of Kishangarh to a British army officer for services in 1857; Imre Schwaiger (1868-1940), New Delhi, India; acquired in 1938 in India by Lauder Greenway (1904–1981), New York; gift in 1939 to Yale University Art Gallery, New haven, Conn.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

figures (representations), religious art

Technical metadata and APIs


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