Woman Applying Henna

Not on view

This painting is a rare depiction of a young woman applying henna to her feet, a ritual associated with rite of passage celebrations, specifically marriage, in Iran and surrounding regions. The subject chosen by this unknown artist reflects the increasing interest of Safavid painters of this period in depictions of everyday people and events. The sitter’s right foot rests on a pile of henna leaves, her garments falling back slightly to reveal her gold and gray undergarments. The illustration would have been included in an album of paintings and drawings.

Woman  Applying Henna, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

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