Portrait of Mah Laqa Bai Chanda

Not on view

This posthumous portrait attests to the legacy of the courtesan Mah Laqa Bai Chanda (1768–1824), known as Hyderabad's greatest poetess. This painting shows Chanda standing against a blue background heavily adorned with jewels, which is similar to the way she is depicted in a monumental painting of her from the Andhra Pradesh State Museum, Hyderabad. Chanda wears brass bells or ghunghoroos around her ankles, which suggests that she was a dancer. The features of her pale white face, such as her aquiline nose and tiny mouth are rendered in a Europeanizing style. This portrait was painted over a page of text of an older manuscript which indicates it is a copy made in modern times, but is of value as it contains certain details missing in earlier versions

Portrait of Mah Laqa Bai Chanda, Opaque watercolor and ink on paper

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