A King Making Love in the Harem

A King Making Love in the Harem

c. 1720-30

Gum tempera and gold on paper

Page: 13.7 x 9.5 cm (5 3/8 x 3 3/4 in.); Miniature: 8.3 x 8.6 cm (3 1/4 x 3 3/8 in.)

Purchase and partial gift from the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection; Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2018.170

Location

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Two illuminated panels at top and bottom are decorated with gold and lapis lazuli.

Description

From a series of paintings valorizing the virility of the ruler, this scene of lovemaking is set in the lavish interior space of the palace women’s quarters. Mauve floral carpet, gold lattice window, and vessels for wine and breath-freshening paan enhance the scene. The marble walls with gold flowering plants and niches appear gray in the dim evening light.

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