The Ideal Ending: Rama's Coronation



The Ideal Ending: Rama's Coronation


ca. 1840


India, Guler


Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Image: 8 5/8 x 11 1/4 in. (21.9 x 28.6 cm)

Object Number



Having defeated Ravana, rescued Sita, and returned to his kingdom, Rama here takes center stage at his coronation in Ayodhya. Holding his characteristic bow and arrow, clothed in gold, his crowned head ringed by a shining halo, he sits on a throne in the pose of royal ease, with one foot raised and the other resting firmly on a footstool. Below are the ritual vessels used in the consecration. To his left, Sita leans into her husband with a look of satisfaction; behind stand his three brothers bearing the implements of kingship. At the front edge of the pavilion, to the left, Rama’s monkey allies, joined by the demon defector Vibhishana—here in human form—attend their new king. To the right sit a group of Brahmin ascetics who have come from the forest to pay their regards. A depiction of Ayodhya frames this public display of kingship. A high horizon line—an index of Mughal influence in this later Pahari painting—is demarcated by a palatial wall. On the left, the towers of Ayodhya are balanced by the treetops of a dense forest on the right, a division that corresponds to the courtly and ascetic groups attending the coronation. The ongoing oscillation of city and forest forms a central objective of the Ramayana itself: by a bloody assault on the demonic forces of the wild, Rama secures a perfectly ordered kingdom.

Credit Line

Gift of Jayantilal K. and Geeta J. Patel & Family to further the study of Hinduism


MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, April 1 - October 27, 2014


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2015.
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“The Ideal Ending: Rama's Coronation,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed June 1, 2023,

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