Indian and Himalayan Art
The Pampered PrincessMade in Mankot, Jammu and Kashmir, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, India
Opaque watercolor, gold, silver-colored paint, and beetle-wing cases on paper
2004-149-24125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004
LabelIn this colorful scene of courtly life, a woman sits on a silver throne holding a golden goblet and smoking a huqqa (water pipe). Embellishment and ornamentation reveal this woman’s identity: her elevated position, elegantly embroidered clothes, and emerald‑like jewelry (made of the carapace of iridescent beetles) mark her as royalty. Female attendants sing and play for her, offering wine and delicacies, and one even massages her feet. While articulating her status, this painting is also about pleasure—delight in design and the beauty of adornment.
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