ANGADA STRIKES DOWN DEVANTAKA WITH A TUSK TORN FROM MAHODARA’S ELEPHANT. FOLIO FROM THE RAMAYANA OF VALMIKI (THE FREER RAMAYANA), VOL. 2, FOLIO 227. late 16th century Shyam Sundar , (Indian, Mughal dynasty)
Kumbhakarna yawns as he is roused from sleep. Folio from the Ramayana of Valmiki (The Freer Ramayana), Vol. 2, folio 208 1597-1605. Nadir (Bihhud) , (Indian, Mughal dynasty, Northern India) Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
The manuscript is actually incomplete parts of 2 works, bound together, the first being an abbreviated section of Haiyat al-Haiyawan حَياةالْحَيوانالكُبرىor Lives of the Animals, by Muhammad Ibn Musa Kamal Ad-din Al-Damiri (1341-1405). It is a compilation of works by many authors on the 931 animals mentioned in the Qur’an, including folklore, proverbs, lawfulness of hunting and eating, medical uses and meaning of names, the interpretation of dreams about each animal, and often a quirky miniature painting of one or many of the creatures in question.(…)
The second part of the manuscript consists of extravagantly illustrated extracts from the ‘Wonders of the Seven Seas’ section of ‘Aja’ib al-makhluqat wa-ghara’ib al-mawjudat (Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing) by Abu Yahya Zakariya ibn Muhammad ibn Mahmud-al-Qazwini (ca. 1203-1283 CE), known as al-Qazwini. This cosmography was originally written in Arabic but often translated into Persian and Turkish and numerous manuscripts survive. The complete work deals with the heavenly sphere, combining astrology with astronomy; then the earthly sphere and the 4 elements that make it up. (…)
Although the manuscript is in Persian, it was created and illustrated in India, probably in the 18th century – it bears no date or names of the copyist or artist.