Two women seated on a terrace, surrounded by attendants and musicians

Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Shah Jahan, ca. 1650
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W: 23.2 x 17.8 cm (9 1/8 x 7 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


attendant, drum, garden, hookah, India, lute, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), music, Reign of Shah Jahan (1628 - 1658), smoking, woman

To 1907
Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna (1839-1914), London, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna in 1907 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original List of Persian and Indian Drawings, S.I. 1519, Miscellaneous section of Inventory, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna (C.L. Freer source) 1839 - 1914
Charles Lang Freer 1854 - 1919


Since custom forbade highborn ladies of the imperial Mughal court from interacting with men outside their immediate family, the private outdoor spaces of palace gardens became ideal locations for women's entertainment and social intercourse. Paintings of such scenes became increasingly popular during the reign of Emperor Jahangir (reigned 1605-27) and may have been specifically commissioned by noblewomen, many of whom were powerful patrons of the arts. Some, like the Empress Nur Jahan, were also garden designers.

This carefully observed composition presents a second walled palace garden in the distant landscape. It is located on the far side of the once silver, but now tarnished, river.

Published References
  • Sir John Figgess, John Ayers, Ann Paludan, Peter Hardie, James J. Lally. Transactions of the Oriental Ceramics Society (1955-1957). Transactions of the Oriental Ceramics Society, vol. 30, pl. 95 London. p. 27.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 73, pp. 120-121.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Emperors, Peris, and Demons in Near Eastern Art. Washington, November 1978. p. 145.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum