Mu’in Musavvir was one of the greatest Persian artists of the seventeenth century and also one of the most prolific, active between 1635 and 1707. This elegant portrait of an Indian courtesan is a fine example of the delicacy and finesse of his brushstrokes. The woman is reclining on a finely decorated bolster, illuminated with birds in two tones of gold. She holds in her right hand a small bowl and in her left the neck of a bottle, smoking a huqqa and with a plate full of peaches and pomegranates. The background is filled with Chinese clouds and vegetation. Due to the treatment of her face, the jewellery she wears (several bazubands
and pearl necklaces), we can identify the lady as an Indian courtesan.
A nearly identical portrait of a lady signed by Mu’in Musavvir and dated 1084 AH/1673 AD, was sold in these rooms, 23 April 1997, lot 30. There are a number of similarities between this and the current portrait: both women are depicted reclining similarly on two bolsters, with their hands and feet in a similar position, differing only in the hairstyle and jewellery worn and the presence of the huqqa.