Artist/maker unknown, Indian
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This delicate drawing, whose subject is unknown, borrows heavily from the many European engravings given to the Mughal emperor Akbar (ruled 1556-1605) and stored in the massive court library. Not only has the Mughal artist used a translucent wash to add roundness to the figures and drapery, but he has also borrowed the idea, if not the exact process, of European one-point perspective in the receding architecture and throne. Even the bold outlines and carefully modulated tones - hallmarks of the nim qalam (half-pen) technique - echo the look of prints. At the same time, the drawing's sweeping lines evoke the calligrapher's art, examples of which frame the image on all four sides.