An Authentic Denotation of Indian Raag-Mala Paintings.

About Sree-Raga.

By following the backdrop of miniature painting processes in the 16th century, I considered discussing additionally in details about each of my paintings mainly because the Ragamala miniature paintings were the ultimate motivation of my musical series and the present conversation would certainly help you to recognize deeply my paintings. Additionally, I’ll be happy to share with you a bit of the quite interesting historical stories behind those Ragamala paintings.


It is the first painting of the “Raga-Mala” series named, “Sree Raga With Ragini Malasree”. Based on the assumption of that unidentified author, this figurative model implemented that musical rhythm which composed for the fall-winter season. This musical rhythm invariably conveys the amazing emotional impact of the fall-winter along with a festive touch as well. I don’t know, who was certainly the first composer of this musical formation, however, I found a mythological storyline where stated that Lord Shiva was the first composer of those musical rhythms when a devotee asked Lord Shiva, regarding the source of musical sounds and its power. Lord Shiva just disclosed the source of sounds by the request of that devotee and suddenly all the environment bewitched and has stopped their normal work! Stupefied nature started listening to the stunning supernatural weaves of musical sounds and the world completely immersed in it.

However, it is precepted that this rhythm is for the afternoon from 3pm to 6pm.

In India, this rhythm illustrates a fairy tell of the village, since it is the season of harvest festival. At this time, farmers acquire their crops from the field and get hold of them in the store room. It happens to be the most pleasurable occasion of those who are in agriculture by profession. They store the crops for a common household consumption and sale the rest in the marketplace. They believe that goddess of crops accordingly coming to their home and they will lead a delightful year with her blessing. They organize the reception for the Goddess Lakshmi at the best of their aptitude. It additionally a good chance to observe a bit of excellent artistic creation of villagers. One example is hereunder -

From personal collection.

The musical rhythm represents this fairy tale of the villagers. Evidently author might be influenced by the Indian village lifespan of the BC 3rd century while he wished to represent in the figurative model of this rhythm. I stumbled onto different figurative descriptions concerning this Raga (rhythm) and from those, I have implemented the illustrative model of “Kangra Kalam”.(a renowned style of the artists of Himalayan valley named “Kangra”) I stated during my earlier write-up that miniature artists always preferred to depend on their imaginative power instead of materiality. Thus, in their painting they have often transformed the originality, (I wanted to mean the original description of the author)  however, around my painting, I have endeavored to maintain the traditional description.

Sree Raag With his first wife named Maalasree

Here Sree-Raga was waiting in a flowered garden for his very first wife named Malasree who usually available in that location during the afternoon. Name of his other wives were – Triveni, Gouri, Vhupali, Barati and Kalyani. Not to forget that those are the sub-rhythms delivered from the basic rhythm – Sree-Raga. Thus, the author considered as wives of the stated basic Raga. Sree-Raga sweetly began kidding around with her and she was taking pleasure in his joking. The plucking flower is just a pretense. Sree Raga appears to be pretty romantic and he loves to wear flower chain. I have not found the body color of Sree-Raag however, Malasree was the golden yellow skinned girl. Keep in mind that the body color of Malasree considered as the color of the first accumulated cereals from the field. The musical tune always produces a festive mood in addition to it contributes greatly to recollect the festival of the fall-winter season. To keep it in mind, I utilized the symbolic footsteps of the goddess Lakshmi at the both sides of my painting which is often widely consumed holy symbol typically use in almost any festive season over in India. In my each painting of the musical series, I applied a symbolic musical instrument as well as in this painting I used lute in white color, at the background of my painting. The surrounding colors producing the time of afternoon which just as mentioned the appropriate time of use of this tune. In entire composition, I retained a cool pleasant ambiance that helps viewers to experience an astonishing tranquillity.

Sree Raga sited on a throne with his three wives. A horse faced kinnor ( a heavenly singer) entertaining to Sree Raga by singing a song. Image resource - www.biblodyessey.com

Miniature artists of Rajasthan represented this painting at the ancient time period of Mughal era, by the order of Emperor Akbar. Quite a few paintings of this series are now viewable in Indian National Art Gallery of Delhi due to the fact that the rest of all paintings of this series were smashed by a tremendous conflagration at the time of British period in London, during the time of an exhibition.

At 1958, the ministry of education brought eighty paintings of this musical series for the National Art Gallery of Delhi. But not a single one of those paintings obtained the signature of artists, and without having mentioned of the year of painting in such masterpieces. Specialists and historians have determined those paintings by following the technique and color making related to the approximate time period.

I’ll be keeping up the details about the Basant Raag in my next episode that will explain the second painting of Raga-Mala collection. You’ll be happy to discover some significant matters associated with the second painting.

The original painting can be found on my website shop page in stretched canvas. Feel free to contact me for the necessary information regarding your purchase . 

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Last updated on - 07.12.2023