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A Musician plays an instrument sitting in front of a man under a canopy smoking a hooka in a garden with a gold sky. Large orange boarder around the painting.
AKM208, A Musician Plays the tanpura for Nawab Mir Qasim Khan

© The Aga Khan Museum

Back of painting, beige paper inside a gold boarder.
AKM208, A Musician Plays the tanpura for Nawab Mir Qasim Khan, Back

© The Aga Khan Museum

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A Musician Plays the tanpura for Nawab Mir Qasim Khan
  • Accession Number:AKM208
  • Place:India, Bengal
  • Dimensions:32.4 cm × 25.4 cm
  • Date:ca. 1760
  • Materials and Technique:Opaque watercolour and gold on paper

When conceiving a portrait, an artist can choose to depict the sitter in any number of ways. Here the artist has decided to show the subject, an eighteenth-century governor of Bengal, listening to music in order to emphasize his cultured and refined side. The young man in front of him performs on the tanpura, a stringed, plucked instrument. It provides a continuous drone rather than a melody, so it usually accompanies singing or supports other instruments.

Note: This online resource is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. We are committed to improving this information and will revise and update knowledge about this object as it becomes available.

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