Inscription: The inscription in the cartouche above the painting reads, tasvir-e hassan parstos mahadiv
This miniature comes from what is known as the 'Husn Album', collected by Sir Elijah Impey, Chief Justice in Bengal from 1774 to 1785 and an avid collector of Indian paintings. A group of related pages from the album were in the Pozzi Collection (J. Soustiel and M. Beurdeley, Collection Jean Pozzi, Mes Rheims et Laurin, Palais Galleria, Paris, 5 decembre 1970, no. 17-20, 24, 71 and 82). The footnote to that lot suggested that 'husn' (meaning 'Beauty') was the name given to the young symbolic female represented in the paintings.
Sital Das is known to have worked closely with the artist Mihr Chand who was for a time under the patronage of Shah Shuja' al-Dowla in Awadh and was later recorded as producing works for the Polier and Impey Albums. A painting from the related 'Fremantle Album' depicts a very similar lady wearing a transparent dupata and with almost identical almond-shaped eyes. That painting is attributed to Sital Das (Linda York Leach, Mughal and other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library, London, 1995, vol.II, no. 6.236, p.660). Two further paintings from the 'Husn Album' have sold in these Rooms, 8 April 2008, lots 293 and 294.