This show is temporarily closed while museum staff addresses environmental conditions in the gallery. Click here to learn more about conservation and how the Carlos Museum safeguards the art in its care.
The Ramayana is the most celebrated epic poem in South and Southeast Asia. It tells the journey of prince Rama, from his banishment from the kingdom of Ayodhya, to his triumphant return. Denied the throne on the eve of his coronation, Rama finds himself exiled to the forest for 14 years, accompanied by his devoted wife and brother, Sita and Lakshmana. After Sita is abducted by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, Rama wages war to ensure her rescue, aided by his faithful friend Hanuman and armies of monkey and bears.
"Tell the whole story, from beginning to end!” Sita exclaims in desperation to the vulture Jatayu as Ravana carries her away from Rama, “Tell Rama and Laksmana just how I was carried off!" The paintings in this exhibition demonstrate some of the diverse, often conflicting, ways in which artists have, for centuries, attempted to heed Sita’s plea.
“Tell the Whole Story from Beginning to End:” The Ramanyana in Indian Painting was curated by students in the class The Art of an Hindu Epic, taught by professors Ellen Gough and Marko Geslani from Emory’s Department of Religion:
The exhibition was made possible through the generous financial support of the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Teaching and Training Fund.
Special thanks to Jayantilal K. and Geeta J. Patel & Family, Harshna and Pyush Patel, and William Torres for helping the museum enhance its collection of Indian paintings through gifts and loans.