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A Mughal prince receiving a lady at night, c. 1680-90

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: A Mughal prince receiving a lady at night, c. 1680-90
Author(s): Victoria & Albert Museum
Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Mughal Painting: Aurangzeb & after;paintings;miniatures;photograph
Description: Under Aurangzeb painting ceased to be a prime activity of the Mughal court and was increasingly patronized by smaller officials. The fashion for resplendent chronicle declined and although A. was not averse to portraiture, almost the only important event to be interpreted in painting was his triumph at Golconda. Such a decline must be attributed partly to the E.'s preoccupation with warfare and partly to his personal aversions. Finding him a puritan and strict Muslim, artists turned to the more pleasure-loving members of the nobility and in place of scenes redolent of courtly majesty, concentrated on phases of amorous intrigues. Such records were not regarded as derogatory but rather as indexes to fashion. The picture illustrates an impending seduction - a novice being produced for Murad Badsh, the youngest of Shah Jahan's sons. Experienced maid servants are leading her to the bed while beyond the terrace is a river scarcely visible in the black darkness of the night. Night scenes and a recourse to chiaroscuro were typical of Aurangzeb period painting and may have been suggested by Western pictures brought to India by the Dutch.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/188133
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-3182

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