Musician with cymbals. Lampas-woven silk, India, ca. 1600
“This textile, just over two meters tall, was presumably woven in one of the Great Mughal’s studios to be sewn together with similar pieces to decorate a princely tent.
A highly Indian niche encloses a musician who can be seen from both the front and the side. He wears a typical Mughal turban, two shawls, and a loincloth (dhoti). Very much alive yet statue-like, he must have made a fantastic impression alongside other figures.
There are two related tent panels (qanat), one with an elegant courtier in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and another with a female harem guard in the Khalili Collection in London. Both, however, are in rather poor condition.
Making such large and complex figurative textiles without repeating the motif requires a true overview of the whole, and they were hardly surpassed anywhere in their day.
The tent panel most likely comes from the Amber Palace in Jaipur.”
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