A BLINDFOLDED SUITOR IS BROUGHT BEFORE A PRINCESS; VERSO: SCROLLING FLORAL VINES DURING MUGHAL EMPEROR ALAMGIR II 1754–1759

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June 30, 1754
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Alamgir II 1754–1759

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DESCRIPTION

A blindfolded suitor is brought before a princess; verso: scrolling floral vines
1755

Part of a set. See all set records

Fayzullah
(Indian, active c. 1730–1765)

India, Lucknow, Mughal, 18th century

Opaque watercolor with gold on paper (recto); opaque watercolor with gold on paper (verso)

Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.343

DESCRIPTION

In a scene set on a carpeted terrace in the women’s palace quarters, an older woman of the harem drags a young prince with a white blindfold over his eyes before a princess grasping a document. Such a scene evokes a literary allusion of a princess who selects her suitor, but it also resonates with circumstances at the Mughal court. Signed and dated by the artist, this painting was completed at a time when powerful women wielded control over the emperor, and Ahmad Shah Bahadur (reigned 1748–54), son and successor of Muhammad Shah, had been blinded and deposed less than one year before.

INSCRIPTION

signed in two places: on capital of central pillar: 'amal - i Fayzullah ("the workof Fayzullah"), and below: bi - qalam i Fayzullah Musavvir walad - i Faqirullah Musavvir dar sanna 1755 ("by the pen of Fayazullah the painter son of Faqirullah the painter in the the year 1755")

EXHIBITION HISTORY

The Cleveland Museum of Art (7/31/2016-10/23/2016); Art and Stories from Mughal India, cat. 80, p. 263-66.

Art and Stories from Mughal India. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (July 31-October 23, 2016).