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Intoxicated Lady at a Window

Asian Art

The male patrons for Indian painting commissioned many images of lovesick women who suffer terribly while their lovers are away. This woman sits at a window, perhaps watching for the arrival of her beloved. The use of a window as framing device here is somewhat ironic, because window frames appear more often in official portraits of rulers. Here, instead of a proud prince we see a woman who has been assuaging her longings with either wine or opium: she leans awkwardly on one arm, her eyes tinged with pink, her eyelids drooping. The fact that she wears no blouse suggests that she is a courtesan, but her jewelry and the precious flask and cup suggest that she enjoys a high level of patronage. What might be a tawdry or pathetic scene is elevated by the high quality of painting and the sophisticated palette of muted blues and reds.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
DATES late 18th century
DIMENSIONS sheet: 13 3/4 x 11 3/8 in. (34.9 x 28.9 cm) image: 11 3/4 x 9 5/8 in. (29.8 x 24.4 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Walzer
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Indian. Intoxicated Lady at a Window, late 18th century. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, sheet: 13 3/4 x 11 3/8 in. (34.9 x 28.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Walzer, 79.285
IMAGE overall, 79.285_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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