Artist: Attributed to Bishandas (active 1590-1640)
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Jahangir, ca. 1620
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
H x W: 10.8 x 6.1 cm (4 1/4 x 2 3/8 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), reading, Reign of Jahangir (1605 - 1627), WWII-era provenance
Provenance research underway.

This court lady reads a manuscript while holding a flower in her lowered hand. Since Mughal court women generally lived in seclusion (purdah), they typically appear in paintings as general types. This portrait, however, has individuated features and seems to be based on observation. The painting is attributed by style to the court artist Bishan Das (see F1997.30 for one of Bishan Das' portraits of a male subject).

Published References
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. Rajput Painting at Bundi and Kota. no. 32 Ascona, Switzerland. p. 95, pl. 68.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd ed. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 32, p. 159.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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