Posted on: 23 September 2013

Watercolour painting on paper of Ravaṇa, with ten heads and twenty arms, sits on a decorated plinth on a terrace. Ravaṇa is crowned and in his left hands holds a lotus, cup, dagger, trishula (trident), gada (mace), curved sword, rope, a chakra (discus) and a kattar (dagger). In his right hands he holds an ankusha (elephant goad), parashu (axe), sword, spear, snake, pasha (noose) and a pustaka (book). Above his ten heads, a donkeys head is shown below a decorated umbrella. The painting is surrounded by a black border.

Company School

© Trustees of the British Museum

 View Post on Facebook

Comments from Facebook

Asking again. Whats with the donkey's head ?

Mallika Trivedi Gautam: Interesting explanation... "...Ravana was a strange foe. He was well-read knowing all the Vedas and Sastras, unbeaten in argument and having great knowledge of various arts and sciences. Indian artists therefore show him as a person having the wisdom of ten wise men-with ten heads. In spite of being so learned and wise, he committed the contemptible act of taking away forcibly another man's wife. Therefore the artists add a donkey's head to the personality of Ravana demonstrating his folly."

Also his stubbornness in face of good advice from his brorher and friends