A prince celebrating Holi with palace women on a terrace at night

Images of pleasure and play abound in Mughal paintings of the latter half of the 1700s. Under a full moon reflected off a river and by the light of candles, a prince celebrates the spring festival of Holi with a group of palace women. Holi festivities include the boisterous tradition of smearing one another with colored powders—shown heaped on dishes—or shooting colored liquid using plunger guns.

Opaque watercolor and gold on paper


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Cleveland Museum of Art

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