Mughal Musicians by the Cartload
This painting is based on a small fraction of one of the illuminated pages from The Padshanama, the imperial manuscript sent to the King of England in 1799 by the Nabob of Luknow. The original page was painted by the court artist Bishandas around 1635. That miniature contains ten costumed elephants, seventeen decorated horses, and over a hundred brilliantly dressed individual musicians, singers, and celebrants in attendance at the wedding of Prince Dara-Shikoh. And that page is only half of the spread, which more than doubles the number of animals and paraders, many of whom are carrying sumptuous gifts to the prince and his betrothed. I liked the idea of highlighting the musicians. As I painted, I listened over and over to a CD made by Niyaz, a Persian group that plays the same, traditional instruments seen here.
Gold metallic and Liquitex acrylics on stretched canvas 40” x 30”