Civilisations catches up with Rama


The art event of 2018 is the BBCs new series from art historians and academics Simon Schama, Mary Beard and David Olusoga revisit the the themes and ideas of the worlds Civilisations through its art, architecture, religion and culture through the centuries. the 10 part series spans the globe from Angkor Wat to the Sistine Chapel, Claude Monet to the artisans fo the Mughal Emperors.

So it should come as no surprise that one of the programs will mention the exploits of Rama and friends. IN the seventh episode entitled Radiance, New Yorks and Harvard University's Prof Simon Schama looks at the use of color in art and architecture to depict the luminance of the holy, mythical and spiritual.

Displayed as it was nearly 200 years ago where servants would hold up the painting whilst an orator (or poet) would read out and describe the scene from the Ramayana to the waiting Mughals and their concubines.


The above detail of this Miniature (a reference to the material minum used in the paint rather than the size) depicting 'The Death of Vali(n); Rama & Laksman(a) Wait Out the Monsoon' from an unknown artist c.1775.

Similar to the paintings that inspired Ramayana: The Thread of Luminance, which I saw at the British Library 

It is an exemplary use of color and exuberance in celebration of ones of Indias (and Asia's) greatest epics.