Ladies Enjoying Music by a Riverbank


Ladies Enjoying Music by a Riverbank

Paintings / Other Asia

By the Murshidabad school

Place of production:India

18th century

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper


A type of painting called “miniature painting” developed in India. Miniature paintings make use of elaborate brushwork and vibrant colors to depict a variety of themes, including Indian myths, Hindu gods such as Shiva and Vishnu, portraits of kings, historical episodes, and love stories. There is a wide range of styles in this type of painting in India, where various cultural groups coexist, and the style differs by region, which adds to the charm of these paintings.

Murshidabad is the name of the school that created this painting, and is also the name of a town that is located in the middle of the West Bengal state in eastern India. Under the Mughal Empire, this area was administered by the Bengal provincial governor, followed by the head of the Murshidabad provincial governor. As a result, the area prospered as the center of the Bengal region, and a unique style of miniature painting evolved.

This work depicts women enjoying themselves with music as they play instruments on both shores of a river. The use of perspective, the curving shape of the river, the reddish-brown color of the ground, and the trees rendered in yellow and green are all typical elements of miniature painting by the Murshidabad school from the mid-18th century.

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