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Page from a Polier Album: Entertainments in a Harem

Mohammed Ali

This sheet is from an album compiled by Colonel Antoine-Louis de Polier (1741–1795), a French-Swiss adventurer and collector resident in India in the middle of the 18th century. The front presents a harem scene with a group of women talking and smoking hookahs in the midst of maidservants, musicians and dancers. The structured background is inspired by the Persian art of gardens. The back bears a calligraphic ghazal or love poem. The Lucknow school revitalised Indian miniature painting and replaced royal and literary epic themes with stand-alone subjects and genre scenes in the form of album pages that proved very popular with local and foreign collectors.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: APF

Artwork Details

Artist: Mohammed Ali
Title: Page from a Polier Album: Entertainments in a Harem
Geography: School of Lucknow, India
Date: 1780

Medium: opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper

Classification: manuscript
Dimensions: 45.7 x 61.5 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2014.027
Contact for images: [email protected]


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