Interior of the Hammam at the Red Fort, Delhi, Furnished According to English Taste

Object Name: Illustrated single work

Date: ca. 1830–40

Geography: India, Delhi

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Opaque watercolor on paper

Dimensions: H. 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm)
W. 12 1/8 in. (30.8cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, 1994

Accession Number: 1994.71

Description

It was not unusual for the resident British of nineteenth-century Delhi to buy ruined or abandoned Mughal or Sultanate buildings and monuments, which they then converted from their original functions to habitable spaces. This painting illustrates the conversion of a hammam (bath house) into a living room, complete with a piano or harpsichord, a bench, and an assortment of glass bottles and other objects. The white floor inlaid with flower motifs resembles that of the hammam at the Red Fort in Delhi, where a British national had been installed by the early nineteenth century.

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