View right to left
: Two women seated on a terrace, surrounded by attendants and musicians

Two women seated on a terrace, surrounded by attendants and musicians

Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Shah Jahan, ca. 1650
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W: 23.2 x 17.8 cm (9 1/8 x 7 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
Since custom forbade highborn ladies of the imperial Mughal court from interacting with men outside their immediate family, the private outdoor spaces of palace gardens became ideal locations for women's entertainment and social intercourse. Paintings of such scenes became increasingly popular during the reign of Emperor Jahangir (reigned 1605-27) and may have been specifically commissioned by noblewomen, many of whom were powerful patrons of the arts. Some, like the Empress Nur Jahan (depicted in the painting to the right), were also garden designers.

This carefully observed composition presents a second walled palace garden in the distant landscape. It is located on the far side of the once silver, but now tarnished, river.

To 1907
Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna (1839-1914), London, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna in 1907 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original List of Persian and Indian Drawings, S.I. 1519, Miscellaneous section of Inventory, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Former owner
Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna (C.L. Freer source) (1839 - 1914)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
attendant, drum, garden, hookah, India, lute, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), music, picnic, Reign of Shah Jahan (1628 - 1658), smoking, woman
Collection(s) Area
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

We are excited to reopen the Freer in October 2017, following a renovation to allow us to better present our art and serve our visitors. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.