A Loving Couple Entertained by Musicians
Attributed to Muhammad Faqirullah Khan
Mughal, Uttar Pradesh, Farrukhabad, ca. 1760-1770
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Painting 9 x 12 ½ in, 23 x 31.7 cm
Although not inscribed, this painting can be attributed to a known artist, Mohammad Faqirullah Khan based on stylistic similarities to his known works. The long attenuated figures with elongated faces as seen in this painting was a hallmark of his work as well as the way the landscape in the background is painted with fine shades of green and yellow. The lovers recline on a charpoi or bed with one of the man’s hands wrapped around his paramour and the other cupping her left breast. They gaze intently into each other’s eyes. Two attendants stand to the left and a group of female musicians sit on the terrace. Two play instruments, one plays what must be a two-ended drum or dholak. The other holds a tambura a typical stringed instrument used to create a drone to accompany the singer who lifts her arm captivated by her own song.
Another painting attributed to Muhammad Faqirullah Khan, dated to 1760-70 and painted in Farrukhabad, is now in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (M.2005.159). See: Stephen Markel, ed., India's Fabled City. The Art of Courtly Lucknow, Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2010, cat. 25, p.73-74.