Pattern of Human and Animal Warriors
12 3/8 x 16 1/8 in. (31.4 x 41 cm)
Medium and Support:
Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, pasted to brown wrapping paper
Gift of Helen H. Reiff in memory of Robert F. Reiff
Location: Not currently on view
This work depicts a scene from the epic Indian poem The Ramayana in which a group of animals heads to war with Rama and Lakshmana against the demon king, Ravana. In the story, Brahma, creator of the worlds, offered Ravana a boon in order to stop him from sacrificing himself in his honor. Ravana asked that he could not be killed by any god or demon and went about torturing all that crossed his path. In order to restore peace to the world, Narayana, preserver of the worlds, took the form of Rama, one of his ten earthly incarnations. After Ravana stole Rama's wife Sita, Rama and his brother, Lakshmana, gathered an army of monkeys and bears and defeated Ravana.