Ladies Celebrating Diwali

Ladies Celebrating Diwali

c. 1760

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

Image: 20.5 x 24.7 cm (8 1/16 x 9 3/4 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1971.82



Lined along the eaves, the top of the marble lattice railing, and the rims of the boats on the river are candles and butter lamps lit in celebration of a New Year festival. A noble lady on a golden armchair lights sparklers with her friends. She and the woman before her hold two unlit sparklers for continued revelry. Three unseen figures set off sparklers in the lower right. In the boats and on the far shore men set off sparklers under the light of a magnificent firework display under the full moon.

The style of this painting is typical of Mughal painting from the mid-1700s, when scenes of domestic life among women of the court were a favorite subject for the imperial artists. By 1760, imperial artists were also working for ministers and governors who took them to their home provinces, such as Lucknow, about 300 miles east of the Mughal capital at Delhi.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email