MADONNA AND INFANT JESUS
This painting is one of the highly Indianised versions of a European print of “The Holy Family with St. Anne and the two angels” by Aegidius Sadeler, a print of which must have come to India during the reign of Jahangir. Though the theme is European, the setting is partially Mughal. The wall decoration and the front railing indicate the typical Mughal chamber while St. Joseph, trying to push aside a huge drape to allow sufficient light for St. Anne to behold the divine Child is true to the prototype. The heavily brocaded costume of Mary and a tilaka mark on her forehead cannot be missed as strikingly Indian elements. It is quite a challenge for the artist to introduce the figure of an angel in the small space behind the mother and the Child.
Considerable charm is added to the painting by rendering it in the Nim qalam, using only white contrasting with gold.
It is mounted on a beautiful large mount painted with floral motifs in gold.
Another derivation from the same painting is in the Nasser Khalili collection, but it is considerably changed to suit the Mughal artist’s imagination.
From the Muraqqa of Nana Phadnis
Indian Miniature Paintings
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Full page: 33.3 x 55.4 cms. Painting: 11.2 x 16.6 cms.