Created between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries for the Rajput and Pahari courts of north India, the paintings in this exhibition capture the collective imagination of the Ramayana, an epic narrative composed by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki around the fifth century B.C. Accompanied by a number of textiles from across South Asia, the artworks illustrate the hero Rama's rescue of his beloved wife, Sita, after her abduction by Ravana, an evil demon with ten heads.

The philosophical dimension of the story finds visual expression in these images, particularly its interest in the themes of morality, kingship, and Rama's status as a divine manifestation (or avatar) of Vishnu. Highlights include an important group of paintings from the early Punjab Hills Shangri/Mankot Ramayana series.