23 April 2002
PORTRAIT OF A COURTESAN
Banda, AH 6 Rajab 1224/17 August 1809 AD
Gouache on canvas, a young woman seated wearing a fine muslin veil and blouse and large pearl earrings and other gold and diamond jewellery holding the mouth piece of a hookah, against a landscape, inscribed above in Urdu The portrait of Sahib Jan the inseparable adherent (mistress) of the Nawwab Shahsher Bahadur. Done by Uday Ram the painter in the kingdom of Bundelkand the site of Banda on 6 Rajab 1224 of the hijra, slight retouching, framed and glazed
32 x 26in. (81.2 x 66cm.)
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Shamsher Bahadur became the titular head of Banda (north of Gwalior) in 1804. He was the son of 'Ali Bahadur (d. 1802) an illegitimate grandson of the last Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao II.
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