The canvas painting of Indrajit presenting to his father Ravana the Trophies of his Conquest of Swarga showcases a pivotal moment in the ancient Indian epic, The Ramayana. In the scene, Indrajit, son of demon king Ravana, proudly displays his martial accomplishments to his father and court.
However, upon closer inspection, the painting also offers a nuanced exploration of power and privilege. The central figures of Indrajit and Ravana exhibit varying skin tones, hinting at their social standing and power dynamics.
Queen Sachi, wife of defeated Indra, is brought in as a captive, her fair complexion standing in contrast to that of her dark-skinned captor. The dramatic composition highlight’s themes of power and morality, as well as light and dark.
The expert use of color and posture creates a sense of tension and unease, mirroring the volatile nature of the scene being depicted. By juxtaposing different skin tones against each other, the artist invites viewers to consider the complexities of power and morality within the context of this ancient Hindu text.