Dramatically divided by the zigzagging river, this painting shows five women hiding among the trees on one side and the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah (1702–1748, ruled 1719–48) with members of his hunting party on the other. Their arrival has disturbed the women’s musical gathering. Muhammad Shah, with a blue horse, is hunting with falcons. Paintings from this period often illustrate events from daily life rather than imperial histories. Known as rangila, ‘the pleasure lover’, Muhammad Shah was a great patron of the arts.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label