Scene from a dispersed Ramayana (Tales of Rama), from Rajasthan or Deccan region: Hanuman Finds Sita
Prince Rama is helped in his quest to rescue his wife Sita by a monkey ruler and his army. The heroic monkey-general Hanuman becomes Rama's most ardent devotee, earning him divine status in his own right. In this image, Hanuman is depicted with the red face and rusty fur of a rhesus macaque, one of India's two most common breeds of monkeys. The scene shows Hanuman after he has stealthily breeched the demon's fortress on Lanka to discover Sita, who is being guarded by a demoness. With his long monkey hands, Hanuman gently touches Sita's feet-a gesture of great respect in India-while she pats his head affectionately. His red skirt modestly covers the rhesus macaque's notoriously rosy bottom.
Artform: MANUSCRIPTS (Bookarts), MAPS AND CALLIGRAPHY
Period: 18th century
Date: 18th century
Medium: opaque watercolor and gold leaf on paper
Size: 29.8 x 20.3 cm
Subject: Asian Religious
Museum: Philadelphia Museum of Art
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