Miniature Indian Erotic Painting on Bone

c. 1850
$1,780 USD
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W: 4.5" D: 0.75" H: 4.0"
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Although the Kama Sutra, India’s famous guide to sensual living, wouldn’t be translated into English until the late 19th century, foreigners in India during the heyday of the British East India Company could easily have obtained erotic imagery through the brisk trade of Indian miniature paintings that catered to Western audiences. Known as the Company School, this approach melded the Mughal miniature tradition with Western techniques and styles.

Painted on bone with water-based pigments, a medium unique to Delhi artists, this miniature offers an intimate glimpse at the erotic lifestyle of the imperial court. Loosely brushed with water-based pigments on ivory, a medium unique to Delhi artists, this amorous encounter is illustrated with the minute detail characteristic to Mughal paintings, as seen in the beaded jewelry and decorative wall trim.

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