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Rama with a bow, Madras State

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Rama with a bow, Madras State
Author(s): Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Bronzes - South Indian;copper/bronze;slide set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: Rama is perhaps the most popular Hindu deity. In almost every dialect in India there is a name for Rama and fables which recount his deeds. There is a wealth of popular images of him, the most common being the one we show here: Rama with his bow. Rama is a completely mortal man in the Hindus' eyes, and his virtues cannot be impaired whatever [trials] are imposed on him. The main story told of him concerns his renunciation of his father's throne after some scandalous intrigue at court, after which Rama takes to the forest to live the life of an ascetic. His lovely wife, Sita, begs and is allowed to follow her husband, but she is abducted by the evil Ravana, King of the Rakshasas. Through much heartbreaking endeavor, Rama wins Sita back again and frees the spirit of Vishnu, which is incarnate in Ravana, in the process. Idealized beauty characterizes the god's image here, just as it did in Parvati and Krishna in the previous examples. The same powerful form is used for Rama's physical type wile delicate detailing in crown and girdle stand in interesting contrast on the surface. -- Vijayanagar-Nayyak style. 16th Century. London, Victoria and Albert Museum.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-1908


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