Mughal Princess Accompanied By Companions And Maid Servants Drinking Wine On A Palace Terrace. Circa Early 18th Century
Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli. folio 25.7 x 19.1cm, painting 19.4 x 13.2cm.
On a palace terrace on an elaborate charpoi with bolster sits a princess. That she is pining for her absent beloved is clear in its use of established pictorial iconography in which the mudra of her hands positioned high above her head, one hand clasping the other. Around her one maidservant serves wine to drown her sorrows as an attendant with morchal stands at the ready.
Two ladies of the court sit and kneel with one pouring wine for the other. That all but one of these women are bare breasted hints at an erotic mood in which these women of the zenana, deprived of the company of men, may turn to each other to fulfil their desires.
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