Kamod Ragini, folio from a Ragamala

Historical period(s)
ca. 1770-1775
Kota school
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W (painting): 18.8 × 12.9 cm (7 3/8 × 5 1/16 in) H x W (overall): 32.7 × 23.8 cm (12 7/8 × 9 3/8 in)
India, Rajasthan state, Kota
Credit Line
Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection — funds provided by the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


garden, India, Radha, ragamala, Ralph and Catherine Benkaim collection, woman

From c.1725
Thakur of Dilwara, Akshah Singh, Ajmer [1]

From 1969 to 2001
Ralph Benkaim (1914-2001), purchased from Col. R.K. Tandan (1899-1971), Secunderabad in November 1969 [2]

From 2001 to 2018
Catherine Glynn Benkaim, Beverly Hills, California, by inheritance from Ralph Benkaim in 2001

From 2018
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, partial gift and purchase from Catherine Glynn Benkaim


[1] See Ebeling, Klaus. Ragamala Painting. Basel: Ravi Kumar, 1973. No. 212, p. 248.

[2] According to information from Catherin Glynn Benkaim.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Ralph (1914-2001) and Catherine Benkaim
Thakur of Dilwara, Akshah Singh active 18th century
Col. R.K. Tandan 1899-1971
Catherine Glynn Benkaim


The essence of Kamod ragini is viraha, the pain of longing. Kamod is a woman who adorns herself, creates a flower-garland bed in a secluded grove, and waits all night for her lover. A halo on this lotus-eyed heroine suggests that this heroine is Radha, the absent lover is Krishna. But a vivid orange sky, which signals dawn, indicates that Radha has waited all night in vain.
The folio’s artist employed a composition created in 1591 for the Chunar ragamala, but he played with color and created texture through dash-like strokes, cross-hatching, and translucent layers to heighten the mood. Lush with flowering creepers, textured foliage, and rippling grass, the idyllic bower is abuzz with herons, egrets and peacocks. Radha, painted in saturated hues of opaque paint that has been highly burnished and lavishly adorned with gold, glows in the landscape. She has the egg-shaped head and slim, almost rubbery body that characterizes the beautiful woman in Bundi painting of the eighteenth-century.

Published References
  • Klaus Ebeling. Ragamala Painting. Basel. No. 212, p. 248.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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