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A Lady Playing the Tanpura

Date:
ca. 1735
Culture:
India (Rajasthan, Kishangarh)
Medium:
Ink, gold, opaque, and transparent watercolor on paper
Dimensions:
18 1/2 x 13 1/4 in. (47 x 33.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1996
Accession Number:
1996.100.1
  • Description

    The Kishangarh atelier is renowned for its paintings and for highly finished, large-scale, tinted drawings such as this one. Images of a woman drinking wine, holding flowers, or playing an instrument became popular in Rajasthani painting during the first half of the eighteenth century, evolving in part from Imperial Mughal precedents. Here, an entertainer appears to have transformed into a nayika, an idealized Indian heroine and personification of female beauty. She is adorned in courtly costume and jewels and plucks the string of her tanpura (a drone instrument of the lute family, frequently played by women) with henna-dyed fingertips.

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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
38038

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