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

18th century

Asian Art

Since music is fundamental to the Ragamala, most compositions contain an allusion to music in the form of instruments played by the figures. In this painting of Ragini Todi, a woman plays a stringed instrument called a veena, the end of which is shaped like the head of a peacock. Her female attendants stand at a distance; they play a pair of clash cymbals known as manjira and a bowed instrument, probably the sarangi. The joyous mood of the painting is reflected in the blossoming lotuses that skirt the lake in the foreground and the flowering plants and animals that sway to the rhythm of the music. The vibrant foliage situates the painting in early spring, when this musical mode is performed.


Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper


7 1/2 × 6 1/8 in. (19 × 15.5 cm)
framed: 13 5/8 × 11 3/4 in. (34.6 × 29.8 cm)

Credit Line

The Vera M. and John D. MacDonald, B.A. 1927, Collection, Gift of Mrs. John D. MacDonald

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.



Vera M. MacDonald and John D. MacDonald, Boston, Mass., by 2001; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2001
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

histories (visual works), human figures (visual works)

Technical metadata and APIs


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