Nepalese Ragamala Paintings

Ragamala paintings are visual interpretations of classical Indian musical modes (ragas). The subjects are derived from poems that evoke the mood or emotion of a particular raga  and romantic and devotional subjects are most often depicted. Although this genre of painting originated in India, the present series was produced in Nepal and is the earliest known example of secular painting from that country.

Consumers of Ragamala paintings were Hindu and Muslim noblemen with refined tastes in the arts. King Jagaprakasamalla of Bhaktapur (c. 1643-72), a poet, connoisseur of music and authority on music theory is believed to have commissioned this series.