Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Delhi Durbar of Akbar II

The Delhi Durbar of Akbar II
Mughal Period, ca 1820
India, Delhi School
Painting on ivory with carved ivory frame
Painting: 18 1/4 x 14 1/2 in
Toledo Museum of Art, 2004.55

This beautiful Indian miniature on ivory is one of my favorite pieces at the TMA. It's description in our Masterworks catalogue uses the word dazzling, and it is quite on point. For more close up details check it out here. This painting commemorates a durbar (an imperial audience or state reception) and represents an image of Mughal power with the emperor, Akbar II, the resplendence of court, costumes, jewels and more. The ivory frame is carved in deep relief and depicts vignettes of Hindu deities. These type of paintings were produced in court schools of painters as souvenirs for high dignitaries and emperor's guests at the durbar.

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