In the Shadow of Rama
Composed over two thousand years ago, the Ramayana was transmitted to Southeast Asia in the first centuries CE. Over the years, it was adapted to suit local customs and traditions. The story of Rama's exile with his wife Sita, her abduction by the ogre king Ravanna, her rescue and Rama's triumphant return to Ayodhaya, captured the imagination of the kings of Siam, Cambodia and Indonesia. This triumph of good over evil was then visualized in stone carvings, drama, shadow puppets and mural paintings. Among the latter, Thailand and Cambodiahave the finest examples. In the Shadow of Rama by long-standing expert, Dr. Vittorio Roveda, examines the most beautiful paintings. In Siam, we tour the famous murals of the Grand Palace in Bangkok and the intracacies of the shadow puppets, Nang Yai. In Cambodia, Roveda studies the delicate and expressive murals of Wat Bo, Siem Reap, as well as the those at the Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh. He also explains how in Siam the Ramayana became the Ramakien and in Cambodia the Reamker. This magnificient book is the culmunation of 20 years of research and provides a visual feast for all those fascinated by the art of Southeast Asia.