Barber Cleaning a Woman’s Ear

A chinless barber with cleaning pins tucked in his turban is cleaning the ears of a lady customer. A fashionable woman, she smokes a hookah and exposes one breast to her flirtatious barber. As the Bengali babus (native Indian clerks) spent time with their mistresses and courtesans, neglected wives and concubines were portrayed as relying on the company of their servants.

Black ink, watercolor, and tin paint on paper


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Cleveland Museum of Art

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