Maharaja offering drink to his queen in his private room.
The history of Indian miniature paintings can be traced to the 6-7th century AD. Miniature paintings received an impetus in the 16th century under Mughals, Muslim kings of the Deccan, Malwa and Hindu Rajas of Rajasthan. The paintings were aristocratic, individualistic and strong in portraiture where the plush court scenes and hunting expedition of royalty were depicted. Flowers and animals were also the recurrent images in the paintings. Mughals also commissioned number of manuscripts with fine illustrations.
The colors used in the miniatures are derived from minerals, vegetables, precious stones, indigo, conch shells, pure gold and silver. The preparing and mixing of the colors is an elaborate process and it took sometimes, months to get the desired color. Very fine brushes are used for the paintings, which are executed on handmade paper. Scattered through the old cities of Rajasthan, thousands of artisans still work in traditional painting ateliers, grinding mineral and stone colors by hand, preparing of fine brushes from the hairs plucked from the tails of squirrels, burnishing antique and handmade papers, working with precious gold leaf, and preserving skills and techniques handed over many generations. Their artistic ancestors were the painters attached to courts of Rajput rulers.
Outside: 12.5 inches (L) x 8.75 inches (B) x 0.5 inches (thickness) ;
Inside: 7.5 inches (L) x 3.75 inches (B)
Weight: 500 grams