This is a narrative from the Narada Purana. King Rukmangada is a devotee of Lord Vishnu who strictly adhered to the observance of fasting on the day of Ekadashi. The jealous Lord Indra despatches a damsel, Mohini to distract him from his piety. Rukmangada is besotted by Mohini and promises to fulfill her wish. She thereupon commands him to eat on the day of Ekadashi or if not to behead his son, Dharmangada. Rukmangada decides to behead his son who valiantly offers his life than to allow his father break his vow. Dharmangada's mother faints in the horror of it all.


  • Title: Rukmangada and Mohini
  • Creator: Raja Ravi Varma
  • Date Created: 1899
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 111 x 155 cms
  • Type: Painting
  • Original Source: Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Rights: Curatorial rights: The Ganesh Shivaswamy Foundation, Bengaluru
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas
  • Creator's Lifetime: 1848-04-29/1906-10-02
  • Creator's Biography: Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was a prolific Indian artist who is recognized for his resorting to the academic realistic style of painting. His portraits of English and Indian royalty and aristocracy were well received. His paintings on Hindu religious and mythological subjects and paintings from classical and literary sources were highly sought after even during his lifetime. He painted several copies of his works and this demand led to the suggestion to have his paintings printed in the form of oleographs. The Ravi Varma Fine Art Lithographic Press was established in Bombay (now Mumbai) and commenced operations in 1894. Many of Ravi Varma's paintings were printed as chromolithographs at this Press. These chromolithographs would have a tremendous impact on religion, society and aesthetics. They went on to democratize art leading to immortalize Ravi Varma in the minds of the people of the Indian subcontinent.

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