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Asian Art

Musician Playing the Tanpura

late 18th century

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

5 9/16 × 3 3/8 in. (14.2 × 8.5 cm)
framed: 14 1/2 × 10 7/8 in. (36.8 × 27.6 cm)
The Vera M. and John D. MacDonald, B.A. 1927, Collection, Gift of Mrs. John D. MacDonald
The elaborate jewelry and elegant clothing identify this solitary woman as a member of the court. She holds a tanpura, a long-necked string instrument that originated in India and is used for various genres of Indian music. She is not playing the instrument; she may have paused or perhaps is waiting for a friend or lover.
Indian, Islamic
Mughal dynasty (1526–1857)

Vera M. MacDonald and John D. MacDonald, Boston, Mass., by 2001; given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 2001

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.