Nighttime in a Palace
- Subject: Persian Miniature Painting
- Paint Material: Opaque watercolors
- Base Material: Paper (unframed)
- Size: 7.5 in. wide X 11 in. tall (19 cms X 28 cms)
- Age: Modern Handmade Art
- Country of origin: India
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Presenting a dazzling modern handmade reproduction of art attributable to Persian artist Mir Sayyid ‘Ali, a well-known painter who flourished at the Safavid and Mughal courts around 1550-1574 CE.
The miniature, “Nighttime in a Palace,” takes us to a vivid urban cityscape, showing us an aspect of social life in the Safavid Empire. This painting has three separate sections—a princely garden pavilion, a city street and a domestic interior in the upper left corner.
The court pavilion in the lower left is defined by low walls and a window overlooking a garden. A young prince seated in an iwan (a vaulted space opening to a courtyard on one side) wears an elaborate cone-shaped white turban with a white feather.The scene is of a feast—courtiers offer the prince and one another delicacies and (presumably) wine from beautifully decorated platters and ewers (pitcher/jug), while servants bring out even more plates of fruit from the kitchen in the lower right, assisted by a young boy carrying a candle.
The modern artist has executed the painting in minute delicacy and it is Persian style art at its finest. The hand-painted artwork has been brilliantly achieved with use of meticulous brushwork and fine watercolors.
This painting is a splendid Persian miniature that demonstrates how much we can learn about a society and its aesthetic tastes through its art. When the society is as little known as that of the Middle East, the complex portrait of diverse peoples and activities and the exquisite artistic details the painting can break down our stereotypes of the region and open a new window into learning about the Islamic world.
And you have a chance right now to own and experience a sample of this Persian artwork at a very affordable value.