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Ladies Visiting an Ascetic at Night, c. early 18th century

India: Mughal Style, 1675-1750
Opaque watercolor on paper
image: 6-7/8 x 4-3/16 in. (17.5 x 10.6 cm); sheet: 7-7/8 x 5-1/8 in. (20.0 x 13.0 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Vineet and Floretta Kapoor
© Norton Simon Museum

Not on view

The exquisite details in this painting—the crescent moon and starry night sky, the dazzling multilayered outfits of the two young women and the delicate leaves of the flourishing tree—are hallmarks of the Mughal style of Indian painting. A pious young woman and her female companion visit a guru, who has long matted hair, a beard and fingernails. Painting night scenes became popular during the reign of Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor (r. 1628–58) who was a great patron of the arts.

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