GROTESQUE DANCERS PERFORMING

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December 31, 1599
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Cleveland Art
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People
Akbar 1556–1605

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DESCRIPTION

Grotesque Dancers Performing
c.1600

Mughal India
Gum tempera, ink, and gold on paper

Image: 16 x 9 cm (6 5/16 x 3 9/16 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1971.88

DID YOU KNOW?

Akbar applied an aromatic paste under his arms, which stained his garment.

DESCRIPTION

This scene from an unidentified manuscript depicts entertainers at the Mughal court. The dancers appear to be from the fringes of society, and they may be intended to depict tribal people or semihuman nature spirits. One is dark skinned with small elephant ears and red-rimmed eyes, wearing a white tiger-skin pelt. The female dancer wears a collar of leaves; the male figure on the right has horns, wears bells, and carries an animal-headed club that appears to be made of bone. An exuberant orchestra provides musical and vocal accompaniment below. While not an imperial production, this painting may reference the Mughal emperor Akbar’s practice of welcoming a wide range of people from all regions and traditions to his court, since he was interested in understanding their customs.

INSCRIPTION

Unrelated later Persian text on recto

PROVENANCE

Stevens
?-1971
(John D. MacDonald, Manchester, NH, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)

1971-
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

CITATIONS

Leach, Linda York. Indian Miniature Paintings and Drawings. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art in cooperation with Indiana University Press, 1986. Reproduced: cat. no. 32

Masselos, Jim, Jackie Menzies, Pratapaditya Pal, and Reis Wenger Flora. Dancing to the Flute: Music and Dance in Indian Art. Sydney, Australia: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 1997. Reproduced: cat. no. 167 pp. 264-266

EXHIBITION HISTORY

Dance of the Gods: Indian Art Inspired by Music. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (September 24-December 8, 1996).

Dancing to the Flute: Music and Dance in Indian Art
. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (organizer) (June 12-August 24, 1997).

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Ratings & Review

Mohmedd shareef

Thank You for Suggestion and replaced image with proper one.

Mirza Firuz

This is not the same may be one of his great grand children ???

Ss Records

4.0