MARCH NY 2012****A Mughal school painting
Lot 1172
Mirza Muhammad Azam Shah celebrating holi Lucknow, circa 1780
Sold for US$ 64,900 inc. premium
Auction Details
Mirza Muhammad Azam Shah celebrating holi Lucknow, circa 1780 MARCH NY 2012****A Mughal school painting MARCH NY 2012****A Mughal school painting MARCH NY 2012****A Mughal school painting
Lot Details
Property from another collection
Mirza Muhammad Azam Shah celebrating holi
Lucknow, circa 1780
Calligraphic panel signed by Hafiz Nurullah verso
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; the ruler embraces a courtesan in the center of celebrations surrounded by other members of the zenana and female musicians. Each figure is attired in sumptuous textiles and adorned with elaborate jewelry befitting their stature within the court. The ground is saturated with vermillion colored powder and colored water.
Folio: 20 1/2 x 16 1/2 in. (52.07 x 41.91 cm)

Footnotes

  • The inscription in the golden cartouche above the painting reads taswir-i A'zam Shah dar majlis-i Holi (picture of A'zam Shah at a Holi celebration)

    A number of other pages from a 'Lucknow Album', formerly in the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps bt. (1792-1872), believed to have been compiled in 1785, also bear four line nastaliq inscriptions by Hafiz Nurullah on the reverse. Compare with another page in the National Gallery of Art, Canberra (NGA 91.1398) that also a bears a typed label adhered to the lower edge. The present page is very closely related to a a scene 'Celebrating with Fireworks' in the San Diego Museum of Art, 1990:374. The faces of the female figures are almost identical and their body proportions along with the treatment of their clothing, may even suggest that both pages ares from the same atelier. It would seem likely that the artists responsible for these two pages were among the group that followed the exodus from Delhi to Oudh (Lucknow) around 1775. For further discussion on the artists and their new European patrons see Falk and Archer,Indian Miniatures, 1981, p. 136 and also Markel and Gude, Lucknow,2010, p. 171-175.

    Hafiz Narulla was a scribe working at the court of Asaf al-Dawla (1189-1212/1775-97) of Oudh (Awadh) in Lucknow, see Dihlavi, The Tadhkira-I-Khushnavisan,1910, pp. 64-5).

    Mirza Muhammad Azam Shah (8 July 1653 – 19 June 1707) was the Mughal Emperor of India and son of Emperor Aurangzeb and Dilrus Bano Begum, and thus a full brother of Muhammad Akbar. Like his brother, Azam Shah married a daughter of Dara Shikoh in 1668.

    Provenance:
    Terrence McInerny, New York
    La Louvre, Los Angeles, Indian Miniatures: 16th to 19th century Paintings, January 10 – February 4, 1989, no. 4.
    Private Collection, Los Angeles
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