Lovers Embracing

c. 1630
Image: 14.9 x 10.1 cm (5 7/8 x 4 in.); Overall: 24 x 16.8 cm (9 7/16 x 6 5/8 in.); with mat: 35.5 x 25.4 cm (14 x 10 in.)
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Erotic metaphors in visual poetry: bees fly to blossoms as rain clouds approach.


The twining and coiling of the patterns on the carpet and large floor cushion mirror the interlaced bodies of the amorous couple. The clinging grapevine also references the wine they share from one cup.

Such a carpet was not to be walked on, so the lovers do not wear shoes. It provides a luxurious furnishing to the intimate outdoor space. Here, the floral patterns evoke the pleasures of paradise. The textile patterns have been rendered with such precision that they appear like colorful enamel work or inlaid jewels. A covered golden box at right contains aromatic betel nut treats (paan) that freshen the breath.
Lovers Embracing

Lovers Embracing

c. 1630

Mughal India

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