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Bracelet with Portrait Miniatures
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Bracelet with Portrait Miniatures


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The six portraits are of revered Mughal rulers and their royal wives. The third oval from the left, for example, is a portrait of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar (r. 1837–57, d. 1862). A skilled calligrapher, Bahadur was well versed in the history of art, architecture, garden design, and poetry. The fourth oval is a portrait of Arjumand Banu Begam, better known as known as Mumtaz Mahal (Elect of the Palace), the beloved wife of Shah Jahan (r. 1628–58). She died after giving birth to her 14th child in 1631. Shah Jahan built a great mausoleum to house her body. The result was the great Taj Mahal at Agra, India. The six segments of this bracelet feature miniature portraits of three Mughal emperors and their consorts. Indian artists adopted the technique of painting portrait miniatures on ivory with watercolors from British artists living and working in India during the 19th century. This delicate bracelet is, therefore, an interesting example of the cultural exchange between East and West during the period of European imperialism.
Exhibitions
  • Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
  • Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857. Asia Society, New York. 2012.
Provenance John D. Schapiro, Monkton, Maryland; Mrs. Jerry Cascarella [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1999, by gift.
Credit Gift of Mrs. Jerry Cascarella, 1999

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Creator
Period
1860-1870
Medium
watercolor on ivory, gold
(Miniatures)
Accession Number
38.665
Measurements
L: 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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