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Asian Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery

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

18th century

Opaque watercolor on paper

Approx.: 17 1/2 × 11 3/4 in. (44.5 × 29.8 cm)
Gift of Lauder Greenway, B.A. 1925, Ph.D. 1930
1939.546
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.
Geography: 
India
Status: 
Not on view
Culture: 
Indian
Period: 
Mughal dynasty (1526–1857)
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

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.

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 such records is ongoing.