Allegorical Figure

This little miniature is an allegorical rendering of a female in Western clothing.

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Artist: Attributed to Nar Singh (Painted between late 1580s and 1604)
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Akbar, ca. 1600
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
H x W: 8.8 x 5.6 cm (3 7/16 x 2 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Ruth and Sherman Lee
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), portrait, Reign of Akbar (1556 - 1605), woman

To about 1955
Heeramaneck Galleries, New York to about 1955 [1]

From about 1955 to 1995
Dr. Sherman Lee, Chapel Hill, NC, acquired from Heeramaneck Galleries, about 1955 [2]

From 1995
Freer Gallery of Art, given by Dr. Sherman Lee in 1995


[1] According to Curatorial Note 3, Elizabeth F. Duley, October 17, 1995, in the object record.

[2] See note 1.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Heeramaneck Galleries
Sherman Lee 1918-2008


This little miniature is an allegorical rendering of a female in Western clothing.


By the 1580s, many Mughal court artists incorporated European features, such as modelled drapery and atmospheric perspective, into their paintings. This female figure was adapted from one of the European prints that circulated in the court.

Published References
  • Gauvin Bailey. The Jesuits and the Grand Mogul: Renaissance Art at the Imperial Court of India, 1580-1630. vol. 2 Washington, 1998. p. 22, fig. 11.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd ed. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 31, p. 158.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. pp. 180-181.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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