This 7 volumes box set brings together, for the first time in the world, Valmiki’s unabridged sacred text with 660 Indian miniatures from the 16th to the 19th century, unpublished for most parts.
“Illustrating the Ramayana is an ongoing, magnificent editorial adventure.”
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Discover the journey of the Ramayana with Diane de Selliers
“I have been working on this project for the past 22 years.
It took us 10 years of worldwide research to identify 5,000 images illustrating the Ramayana. We choose the most beautiful and significant ones to faithfully accompany the text, chapter by chapter.
I started working on the project right after my first trip to India in 1998.
I was convinced that the emblematic epic of the Ramayana, along with the most magnificent and pertinent illustrations – illuminated manuscripts and miniatures from the 16th to the 19th century – would prove a dazzling revelation to a wider audience.
It was in pursuit of these very manuscripts, now mostly broken up and dispersed throughout the world that we set out, finding very beautiful folios in museums and libraries in India, the United States and Europe, as well as in Pakistan, Qatar, Australia and Canada.
We were also warmly welcomed by private collectors, by dealers and art galleries; indeed an extraordinary sense of solidarity grew up around our enormous search. We focused essentially on the schools of northern India, Mughal paintings, paintings from Rajasthan and from the hills of the Punjab, as well as from the Deccan Sultanate.
Dr Amina Okada, Chief Curator at Musée Guimet in Paris, brought all her knowledge and passion into this journey. She participated in the selection and wrote commentaries, inviting us deeper into India’s art, culture and traditions.
This project has an important message of inter faith and religious tolerance for the publication comprises the finest Mughal manuscripts of all time, ordered by Emperor Akbhar in the 16th century, courtesy of the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur. It is now kept behind closed doors.
It has equally a compelling conservation side : some of the miniatures presented in the book are kept in bad conditions.
The book was first published in French in 2011 and it was a great success.
Our vision is now to release an English language edition to make it accessible to a wider audience.
To begin with, our wish is to be able to print 3,000 copies for a worldwide distribution.
As you can imagine, a box set like this one is very expensive to produce and the reproduction rights for the paintings are high.
You can support us and be a part of our journey of the Ramayana by pre ordering one or more copies of the forthcoming book. Our golden target number is 800 copies sold to be able to print 3,000 copies.
And if you like the project, pre order your own copies and share this with your friends and family.”
Thank you very much for your support
Diane de Selliers