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A river scene with a nobleman in a morpunkhi, with a shrine and travellers

A river scene with a nobleman in a morpunkhi, with a shrine and travellers

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Gouache

Date: 1760

Shelfmark: Add.Or.484

Item number: 484

Length: 27

Width: 35

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Painting

Opaque watercolour of a river scene in Murshidabad, West Bengal, by an anonymous artist working in the Murshidabad style, c.1760.

A peacock shaped barge sails down the middle of the river with a wealthy nobleman passenger, his flag flying on the stern with the emblem of the double-bladed sword ('zulfiqar') of Ali. On the river bank in the foreground, a lady visits a shrine to Shiva, while on the far bank travellers pass along a road which runs past a staging post and through a village. The nobleman could be Zulfiqar al-Daula Mirza Najaf Khan (d.1782), a Persian who rose to be subadar of Allahabad, and whose emblem as suggested by his title would have been the double-bladed sword.

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