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Baz Bahadur and Rupmati hunting on horses. Late Mughal at Delhi, circa 1800. Gouache on wasli, pasted onto later card. 11 x 15.9cm.

The painting illustrates the doomed romance of Baz Bahadur, Muslim ruler of Malwa (reigned 1555 -1562) and the beautiful singer Rupmati, a Hindu, who he chanced upon during a hunt. It is said her beauty prompted an attack on Malwa ordered by the Mughal emperor Akbar, the victory prompting Rupmati to commit suicide.

Ref: Delhi Baz Bahadur 1092-81210

All images and text © Peter Blohm