• Indian and Southeast Asian Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2195

    Indian and Southeast Asian Art

    16 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 867

    A Painting of Women's Activities in the Zanana


    Price Realised  


    A Painting of Women's Activities in the Zanana
    Attributed to Ustad Hasan, son of Ahmad
    India, Bikaner, circa 1760
    Depicting the women of the palace seated on a white mattress over a golden carpet in the gardens, with plates of food and wine vessels before them, several maidservants and musicians in attendance, all surrounded by silver and red borders, with two inscriptions and library inventory stamp on verso
    9½ x 6 5/8 in. (24 x 17 cm.) image
    12 x 8 5/8 in. (30.5 x 22cm.) folio

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    The inscription in the red border above the painting reads pano majailas jinani ro, meaning the picture represents an assembly (majlis) of women in the zanana. On the verso are three lines of inscription. The first reads shri 5 shri ji sahiba re najar kiyo, meaning that this painting is a nazar for a female member of the royal family. The second line reads kam uste hasan ahmad re ro najar kiyo samb 1825 miti karti bade 9, which translates as "work of Ustad Hasan son of Ahmad who made the nazar on the 9th of the dark half of the month of Kartik in the year 1825." This date translates to the 24th October 1769. The final line reads maramat san 1923 miti jeth sud 1 usta [?], meaning that is was repaired by a master on the 1st of the bright half of the month of Jeth in VS 1923, or May 1843.

    The present example is a close copy after a slightly damaged painting of a Zenana scene dated approximately 1625-30, see J. Cummins, Indian Painting, 1996, plate 32, p. 70.