The grandest retelling of the Ramayana is the series of 400 paintings commissioned by Mewar's Rana Jagat Singh in the mid-1600s. The Kailash Raj work in question is a copy of one of those splendid paintings, which actually took nearly a decade to finish. It depicts a point in the war when Ravana's forces had been outnumbered by Rama's vanarsena (army of monkey-warriors), and so He sends Indrajit to battle. In his blue-gold chariot drawn by supple white horses, the generously armed Indrajit plays a mind game with the bothers. They are to the left of the painting, their stance unflinching. Indrajit uses His powers to project an illusory image of Seeta, which He grabs by the hair and slays brutally with His long, silver sword. As her body falls to the ground, cut into two, Hanuman rushes to tell the grievous news to Rama and Lakshman Himself. In the meanwhile the vanars are distraught to see their beloved Seeta thus slayed, but they refuse to let their warrior ethic slip as they continue to do battle with Indrajit's troops.
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