Showing posts from 2022
  Raising the Veil on Harems An inside look at these private spaces inhabited by women in the 16 th , 19 th and 20 th centuries, through art. By Preeti Philip                                               Odalisque in Red Trousers- Henri Matisse,1924-25. Oil on canvas, 50 x 61 cms. Musee de l’ Orangerie, Paris   The richest empire in the world, Mughal India- said to be blessed by the divine light of the sun, was home to some of the most powerful women who resided in the royal harems of the empire, called the Zenana. During the Mughal era (16 th -18 th century) accomplished and cultured women were highly prized and held a high status in these royal harems. Reputed as being extremely well educated and refined, they were astute businesswomen who owned trading ships, had a keen eye for architecture, commissioned buildings, wrote biographies and poetry, travelled and were personally wealthy beyond compare. The walls of the harem housed generations of women, elderly matrons, y