Miniature pasted on an album leaf. “Birth in a Palace”
India, Murshidabad; 1760-1770
Miniature: 26.5 × 37 cm
The court in Murshidabad, in Bengal, was one of several that flourished in the second half of the 18th century as the Mughal Empire was in decline. Although its rulers were Muslims, the scene seems to be taking place in a Hindu setting.
The prince calmly presides in the men’s quarters together with members of his court and a couple of astrologers, who are going to cast the horoscope of the boy who is just being born under the supervision of an army of attendants. A woman is on her way over to bring the men the joyful news. People gathered outside the palace walls are also excited.
Without following the laws of perspective, everything is depicted in the clear and organized fashion typical of Murshidabad painting.
Inv. no. D 28/1994
Gustaf Munthe: Orientaliska miniatyrer och manuskript: katalog med konsthistorisk inledning, Röhrska Konstslöjdmuseet and Det danske Kunstindustrimuseum, København 1929, cat.no. 120 (no photo);
Kjeld von Folsach, Torben Lundbæk and Peder Mortensen (eds.): Sultan, Shah and Great Mughal: the history and culture of the Islamic world, The National Museum, Copenhagen 1996, cat.no. 315;
Kjeld von Folsach: Art from the World of Islam in The David Collection, Copenhagen 2001, cat.no. 81;
Kjeld von Folsach: For the Privileged Few: Islamic Miniature Painting from The David Collection, Louisiana, Humlebæk 2007, cat.no. 128;
Joachim Meyer: Sensual Delights: Incense Burners and Rosewater Sprinklers from the World of Islam, The David Collection, Copenhagen 2015, fig. 5, p. 12;