54. Wood Panel with Figures

54-55. Wood Panel with Figures
Painted wood
Height: 27.3 cm, Width: 14.8 cm
Nineteenth-twentieth century
Catalogue number 54.
Accession number 88.513.

These two panels belonged to the door of a large wooden home shrine or temple. The upper register (no. 55) illustrates a scene from the epic Ramayana, which describes the life and exploits of Rama, the incarnation of Vishnu. Here Rama is shown seated on a lotus throne with a hand raised to bless and acknowledge Hanuman, the monkey king who helped him during his difficulties in the forest. Hanuman is shown with his hands folded in obeisance.

The lower register (no. 54) depicts a saintly figure, who is six armed. Two of these arms bear a water pot and a staff, two others raise a flute to his lips, and a final set of arms are raised as if in response to the tune played. These gestures, together with the top knot and the clothes suggest that this figure might be a wandering holy man of the Vaishnava sect.

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