SIA: Hindu painting

It’s time for another Style Imitating Art (SIA) challenge! Salazar and I are following up with those who have indicated interest in co-hosting SIA — thank you all! — and in the meantime, I’m next on the rotation schedule to choose an artwork for our collective sartorial inspiration.

Inspiration artwork:

I had pinned this painting to my (private) SIA inspiration board on Pinterest awhile ago, and I still am drawn to this Hindu (Rajput) painting of a “Melancholy Courtesan,” circa 1750s.

Melancholy Courtesan painting, circa 1750, India (public domain)

Melancholy Courtesan painting, circa 1750, India (public domain)

This painting is part of the Met’s public domain digital art collection, and here’s an excerpt from the Met’s description and history of this particular painting:

Of the several pictures of this type that are known, this example is the finest. [T]he painting is probably the idealized portrait of a courtesan. […] The practice of making images of courtesans migrated from Persia into the artistic repertoire of Muslim India and from there to Hindu painting. This compositional formula derives from Mughal prototypes, but the handling of color, pattern, and space is purely Rajput.

I looked up “Rajput” — because LIBRARIAN 😉 — and it describes a member of a Hindu military caste.

I was drawn to the painting mainly because of the mix of colors and subtle patterns. There’s also lots of gold jewelry in the painting, if you are inspired to go that route.

How to participate in SIA:

Everyone is welcome to participate — bloggers, non-bloggers, all genders, all ages, even pets! Just send a pic of an outfit — selfies and flat lays are also welcome — inspired by this week’s SIA artwork to this week’s curator (me!) at, by next Tuesday, April 24th, 10 p.m. U.S. Pacific Standard Time, to be included in the round-up on my blog, which will go live next Wednesday, April 25th.


One thought on “SIA: Hindu painting

  1. Pingback: SIA: “Melancholy Courtesan” – Post Card Purposes

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