Ask Morgana 78: Women in Mughal art

m0The Mughal were a Persianate Turco-Mongol people who established an empire in Southern Asia, covering much of what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The empire lasted from the 16th to the 19th century until replaced by British rule. During the Moghul period art and music flourished. In particular there was a beautiful and stylised expression in painting.

There were many subjects for this art which dealt with aristocratic life, with emblems of wealth such as highly-decorated elephants, with music and dancing, and with the entertaining presence of women. Calm, coy yet sensual, clothed in diaphanous bodices that scarcely concealed their nipples, these women wafted in and out of Mughal art like perfume on the breeze. Sometimes they danced, sometimes they plucked at a veena, sometimes they held a delicate lotus flower or tended a garden, melding the seductress with the perfect companion of paradise, the holy with the profane.

Is that not, in fact, the essence of truly erotic art?

 

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Reproduced under ‘fair use’ provisions.

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