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Indian School, late 18th century

Rama, the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. circa 1790

Opaque watercolour on paper | 41 x 27.4 cm (folio dimensions) | RCIN 1005115.j

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The Prince arrived in Bombay a few days after the city had celebrated Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights that commemorates Rama, the seventh avatar of Vishnu, defeating the ten-headed Ravana, King of Lanka. The Municipal Council of Bombay left the decorations erected for Diwali to welcome the Prince and also to celebrate his birthday on 9 November. This painting shows Rama and his brother Lakshmana shooting arrows at Ravana. The monkey god Hanuman and his army of monkeys can be seen in the background as they make their way over a bridge to destroy Ravana's fort in Lanka.