Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Interior of the Hammam at the Red Fort, Delhi, Furnished According to English Taste

Object Name:
Illustrated single work
ca. 1830–40
Mint India, Delhi
Opaque watercolor on paper
H. 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm) W. 12 1/8 in. (30.8cm)
Credit Line:
Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, 1994
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 464
It was not unusual for the resident British of nineteenth-century Delhi to buy ruined or abandoned Mughal or Sultanate buildings and monuments, which they then converted from their original functions to habitable spaces. This painting illustrates the conversion of a hammam (bath house) into a living room, complete with a piano or harpsichord, a bench, and an assortment of glass bottles and other objects. The white floor inlaid with flower motifs resembles that of the hammam at the Red Fort in Delhi, where a British national had been installed by the early nineteenth century.
[ Terence McInerney, New York, until 1994; sold to MMA]
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