What is the text on this Indian miniature painting?
December 23, 2017 2:36 PM   Subscribe

I bought an Indian miniature painting that had been painted on pages of an old book. What is the text?

The shop owner explained that they painted on old book pages due to the specific paper type, and presumably also for the aesthetics of the text (to mimic the style of Persian miniature). However, he did not know what the text said, what language it was in, or what book it might be from. Since the text is partially covered by the painting, it is clear that the painter cannot read the text, and that the text presumably has nothing to do with the painting.

Still, I am curious what sort of book this would have been, what language the text is in, and what the text is about.

Pictures (front and back; back has more text)
posted by pravit to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not an expert but I think it's either Arabic or Persian. It doesn't look like Sanskrit, Hindi or Tamil. It could be stylized scribbles that don't mean anything, tho.

Maybe it's my view but the photos of the backside seems too small to read, but I can't read Arabic so maybe it doesn't matter.
posted by fiercekitten at 6:41 PM on December 23, 2017

I don’t think that’s Arabic, although it’s for sure the Arabic alphabet. My guess would be Urdu, or failing that Farsi.
posted by Ted Maul at 11:37 PM on December 23, 2017

That looks to me like a Mughal miniature, in which case the language is Persian and the text is likely to be a Persian or Indian fable or history, produced in the Mughal court under the patronage of one of the Mughal emperors.
posted by Aravis76 at 7:05 AM on December 24, 2017

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