Saint Cecilia thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Saint Cecilia

Painting
first half 17th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The Mughal emperors collected European paintings and engravings, many of which were brought to the court in the late 16th and early 17th century by successive Jesuit missions who travelled to Delhi, Agra and Lahore from Portuguese Goa. The artists employed by the emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) often copied these exotic works of art.This painting of the Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia is a close copy of an engraving by Jerome [Hieronymus] Wierix. The painting is mounted on a decorated page formerly bound in an album compiled for Shah Jahan.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Brief Description
Painting, Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia, by Nini, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, first half 17th century
Physical Description
Painting, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, the martyrdom of Saint Cecilia. Saint Cecilia lies on the floor, expiring, in front of a female companion who reaches towards her neck and while a second moves forward with a glass bowl of water and sponge. A putto at left flies towards her carrying a crown. The nimbate figure of Christ hovers in the clouds above.
Dimensions
  • Painting height: 13.5cm
  • Painting width: 10.4cm
  • Page height: 38.3cm
  • Page width: 25.8cm
Content description
The martyrdom of Saint Cecilia. Saint Cecilia lies on the floor, expiring, in front of a female companion who reaches towards her neck and while a second moves forward with a glass bowl of water and sponge. A putto at left flies towards her carrying a crown. The nimbate figure of Christ hovers in the clouds above.
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
  • (The Persian inscription giving the name of the artist is written in black ink in the border below the painting.)
  • Nandaram Pandit 1161 [?] (This seal stamp in black ink appears to provide the name of an 18th century owner. The date seems to be 1161 of the Islamic era, corresponding to 1748 AD, but is slightly smudged.)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Lady Wantage
Object history
The painting is mounted on a page with decorated borders from an album made for the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Production
Another version of this painting is in the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, City Palace, Jaipur (see Asok Kumar DAs, Treasures of Indian Painting, Series Two, Plate IV.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The Mughal emperors collected European paintings and engravings, many of which were brought to the court in the late 16th and early 17th century by successive Jesuit missions who travelled to Delhi, Agra and Lahore from Portuguese Goa. The artists employed by the emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) often copied these exotic works of art.This painting of the Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia is a close copy of an engraving by Jerome [Hieronymus] Wierix. The painting is mounted on a decorated page formerly bound in an album compiled for Shah Jahan.
Bibliographic References
  • Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor. The art of the book 1560-1660, V&A Publications, 2002, pl. 70, p. 104.
Collection
Accession Number
IM.139A-1921

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record createdMay 17, 2013
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