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  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    late 17th century (made)
    early 18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mr. John Goelet

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

The painting, in opaque watercolour on paper, shows a standing lady in profile facing to the right. She holds a wide-rimmed scalloped translucent wine cup with her right hand while her left hand grasps the neck of a glass wine bottle. She is shown against a dark green ground with a variety of flowering plants at her feet. The dark background rises up to a domed mound near the top of the picture where the sky is suggested by loose brushwork of streaks of grey paint.

The lady is wearing a white diaphanous peshwaz with tight ruched long sleeves. It has rows of pink-tipped short white lappets round her neck and front opening reaching to a high waist edged in gold under her breasts from which the gold-edged skirt of the peshwaz falls. Under this she is wearing orange-red paijama with rows of pearls and jewelled bands at the ankles, below which she is wearing a pair of crimson-patterned grey slippers with gold pom-poms on the toes. A gold patka with pink floral scrolling and gold fringed ends falls from the waistband of her paijama to the hem of her peshwaz.A gold edged pinkish stole is loosely looped round her right shoulder across her bodice with one end falling down her back. Her jewellery consists of a large red gem and pearl arm band, pearl chokers and a red and green jewelled pendant necklace, finger and thumb rings, ropes of pearls round her wrists and further pearls in her ear. She wears a mughal princely turban made of a dark red fabric patterned with gold bordered green motifs, a medallion with a green gemstone drop at the front and a golden turban ornament fixed to the top with black plumes ending in two pearls with black tassels, suggesting she is a princess. Her fingers are tipped in red.

Her features and long loose hair are painted with extreme delicacy. Individual strands of hair are depicted curling over her shoulders and down her breasts. The modelling of her face and upper body is rendered through a ripple of minute stipples and hatchings.

The painting is framed with an inner border of collaged pinky-brown paper decorated with a stylised spiky floral scroll outlined in gold with white and black lines within an outer blue outline. The outer border has an ivory-coloured ground decorated with alternate red poppies and pink lilies outlined in gold. The outer margins of the paper have collaged strips of greeny-blue paper with an inner outline in white. That on the right hand side has been badly abraded and an additional grey strip of paper has been stuck over it as the gutter for the present album binding.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)


late 17th century (made)
early 18th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper


Height: 18.2 cm central painting, Width: 11.3 cm central painting, Height: 35.5 cm page, Width: 23.5 cm page

Object history note

This miniature painting is part of the Small Clive Album of Indian miniatures which is thought to have been given by Shuja ud-Daula, the Nawab of Avadh, to Lord Clive during his last visit to India in 1765-67. It contains 56 leaves on which are Mughal miniature paintings, drawing and flower studies on both sides. The binding is covered with an Indian brocade which may have been cut from lengths brought back from India by 2nd Lord Clive who served as Governor of Madras, 1799 to 1803. The album was sold from Powis Castle at Sotheby's sale, 16 to 18 January 1956, lot 332A.

Descriptive line

Painting, Small Clive Album p. 54, a lady with a wine flask and cup, opaque watercolour on paper, Mughal, late 17th or early 18th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 18, fig.9.
Ashmore, Sonia. "Muslin", London, V&A Publishing, 2012.


Opaque watercolour; Paint; Paper



Subjects depicted

Turbans; Wine bottle; Woman


Paintings; Portraits; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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