“A Palace Complex with Harem Gardens” India, Faizabad or Lucknow, c. 1765

The miniature, whose primary motif is a fantastic palace complex populated by a prince’s concubines along with their female servants and guards, in a way depicts the world as one great garden. In the distance we see the prince on the back of an elephant, and on the other side of the river all manner of activities are taking place that form a powerful contrast to the perhaps pleasant but enforced idleness of the women of the harem.

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