Ladies of the Zenana (Womens’ Quarters) on a Terrace at Night - 17th Century Rajput Painting

Artist : Ruknuddin

Ruknuddin was active at the court in Bikaner ca. 1650-97. especially under the patronage of Anup Singh.

Ruknuddin was a master of color and patterns. In this work, the exquisitely rendered folds of Vishnu’s robe, the semitransparent fabrics of the women presenting gifts to the divine couple, and the subtle shading of the faces are obviously reminiscent of Mughal painting. Beautiful women, even in a secular context, were among Ruknuddin’s favorite subjects. If one compares such pictures from the 1660s and 1670s as a group, one is particularly struck by the porcelain-like treatment of the faces that recurs in works of this period.

Ruknuddin accompanied the rulers of Bikaner on their military campaigns to the Deccan, which were conducted as part of their contractural service to the Mughal court. He is associated with a number of portraits painted there in a distinctly Mughal manner, reflecting his exposure to further currents of influence.