UNKNOWN ARTIST, NORTH BALI, SCENE FROM RAMAYANA, RAMA HAS SHOT THE DEER

LOr. 3390-112

Drawing on Dutch paper, watermark Concordia, countermark VdL., 34.4 x 42 cm

Rama, right, has shot an arrow at a deer. He is holding a bow in his right hand. The servant Twalèn, left, has picked up the small deer, trying to catch it.

A text in Balinese script in ink at the bottom says: “kidang kancanna”, golden deer. In the centre is written: “towalèn”, Twalèn and bottom right: “batararama”, Lord Rama.

This scene refers to an episode described in the Old Javanese Ramayana (V: 36-45). Rawana pays a visit to Marica to ask him for help. Marica refuses at first, but is threatened by Rawana. Marican then proposes that he should change himself in a golden deer and go to the forest. He will make sure that Rama and Laksmana leave Sita to go after the deer, so that Rawana can do what he wants with Sita. Rawana agrees. When Sita notices the beautiful deer, she asks Rama to catch it for her. Rama orders Laksmana to keep an eye on his wife. He goes after the animal. It runs a long way and Rama gets angry because he cannot catch it. He finally decides to shoot it with an arrow. The animal cries like a human being when it is hit by the arrow.

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