ALBUM PAGE OF A COUPLE IN A GARDEN
This scene depicts a couple at leisure in an enclosed garden space. The male figure on the left dressed in full European outfit, is holding a wine cup in one hand and a wine bottle and a hat in the other. His female companion, dressed in traditional Indian attire, is reaching her left hand to a peacock.
The style of this painting, in terms of figure type, pose and dress, is very close to that of Rahim Deccani, an artist active probably at Golconda in the third quarter of the seventeenth century. Works by Rahim Deccani, usually featuring both male and female figures in garden settings, can be found both on paper and on lacquered caskets. A painting in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (see Zebrowski 1983, no.176, p.204) attributed to Rahim Deccani is painted in extremely similar fashion. The right-hand-side female figure on the Chester Beatty painting is in identical pose as the female figure on our painting, except that she is reaching out to a small deer with her left hand. Additionally, they both stand in front of a tree. There is also a European male figure in the Chester Beatty painting, he is in a similar attire as the figure in our painting, except he is facing the other direction. The similarities between two paintings suggest our work is closely related to that of Rahim Deccani, perhaps it was produced in the same workshop or by a student of Rahim.
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (Prince seated in a garden with ladies)
Victoria and Albert Museum, London (851-1889)