Raagmala Bhairavi thumbnail 1
Raagmala Bhairavi thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South Asia, Room 41

Raagmala Bhairavi

Print
1988 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Sabah Husain is one of the leading young female artists of Pakistan. She was educated in Lahore and spent four years in Japan, where she expanded her knowledge of paper and printmaking. Her work is inspired by classical Indian music, dance and poetry.

Husain gives a contemporary visual interpretation of a piece of classical music entitled Raagmala Bhairavi. This was traditionally played only at dusk during the summer time. The rich colours, calligraphic forms and sharp lines show a combination of south Asian and Japanese influences. Along with the triptych (tripartite) format, they convey the rhythm and emotion expressed through the music.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Print
  • Print
  • Print
Materials and Techniques
Woodcut and etching on paper
Brief Description
Print, Raagmala Bhairavi, Tryptich, by Sabah Husain, ink on paper, Lahore, 1988
Physical Description
This print is in the form of a triptych. All three panels are made of hand-made paper with the rough edges still present. The artist has used a mix of woodcut and etching. Each panels has been covered first with an orange woodblock to produce a wood grain effect and then printed with an etched plate to produce random swirling lines and patterns across the paper. These have been overlaid with a woodcut print in blue through which it is possible to see the wood grain effect. The blue and orange mingle together in parts of the print and provide a contrast to each other in other parts of the print. The panels are linked to each other with orange calligraphic lines which have been created by the woodcut and which extend from one panel to the next. On the right hand side in the middle there is a small etching of a delicate net-like design printed on transparent paper which has been pasted on. This hand panel is signed in pencil 'Raagmala Bhairavi, 7/50, Sabah Husain, '88', on the bottom right hand corner.
Dimensions
  • Height: 71cm
  • Width: 54cm
These measurements are for each panel and vary slightly according to each panel.
Production typeLimited edition
Copy Number
7/50
Gallery Label
One of the leading young female artists of Pakistan, Husain was educated in Lahore and spent four years in Japan expanding her knowledge of paper and printmaking. Her work is inspired by classical Indian music, dance and poetry. Husain gives a contemporary visual interpretation of a piece of classical music entitled Raagmala Bhairavi, traditionally only played at dusk during the summer time. The rich colours, calligraphic forms and sharp lines are a combination of South Asian and Japanese influences, and along with the triptych format they convey the rhythm and emotion expressed through the music.
Credit line
Given by the artist
Historical context
The title of the triptych, Raagmala Bhairavi, refers to a school of Indian painting known as Ragamala painting. These paintings are visual interpretations of musical modes and are represented in divine or human form by musicians and poets. Bhairavi is a female representation of one of these modes. It refers to a piece of music that is traditionally only played at dusk during the summer time. In this print the artist gives us a contemporary interpretation of this theme.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Sabah Husain is one of the leading young female artists of Pakistan. She was educated in Lahore and spent four years in Japan, where she expanded her knowledge of paper and printmaking. Her work is inspired by classical Indian music, dance and poetry.



Husain gives a contemporary visual interpretation of a piece of classical music entitled Raagmala Bhairavi. This was traditionally played only at dusk during the summer time. The rich colours, calligraphic forms and sharp lines show a combination of south Asian and Japanese influences. Along with the triptych (tripartite) format, they convey the rhythm and emotion expressed through the music.
Bibliographic Reference
Patel, Divia,; India and Pakistan: Contemporary Prints, Exhibition leaflet, 1997.
Collection
Accession Number
IS.33:1 to 3-1995

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdDecember 19, 2002
Record URL