May 9, 2014

Jewel Portrait of a Young Girl

Jewel Portrait of a Young Girl

c. 1660

Ink drawing with slight accents of color

Image: 3.3 x 2.4 cm (1 5/16 x 15/16 in.); Overall: 4.6 x 3.8 cm (1 13/16 x 1 1/2 in.)

Gift of Arthur L. Parker Foundation 1968.71



This small drawing of a young girl wearing a chaghtai cap may be a likeness of a member of a royal or courtly Mughal family. The accuracy of female portraiture is an unresolved issue in Mughal art, as there are many paintings of women that appear to be studies of female beauty rather than visual records of real people. However, because the girl in this painting is not an idealized type, it is more likely that this is a true portrait. Unlike jewel portraits of emperors that were intended to be worn in public as status symbols, this was more likely a private gift of sentimental value.

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