Asian Art

Ragini Desi Megh, from a Garland of Musical Modes (Ragamala)

ca. 1780

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

without mounting: 8 5/8 × 5 1/8 in. (21.9 × 13 cm)
with mounting: 14 7/8 × 10 11/16 in. (37.8 × 27.2 cm)
The Vera M. and John D. MacDonald, B.A. 1927, Collection, Gift of Mrs. John D. MacDonald
The theme of union in this painting is conveyed not only by the amorous couple in the foreground, but also by the pairs of cranes and parrots in the cloudy sky. Even the golden, slithering lightning bolts are shown in a pair. The couple strolls toward the bedchamber to take shelter from the heavy rain; fruits, drinks, and a box of betel leaves await them. This musical mode is performed during the fertile monsoon season, which is signaled in the image by the downpour and the ripe bananas hanging from the tree.
Mughal dynasty (1526–1857)

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

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.