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THE SULTAN WITH LADIES. Illustration to the Nimatnama or Book of Delicacies, Mandu, Central India, с. 1505
THE SULTAN WITH LADIES


Plate 2 shows the Sultan about to drink from a cup as he superintends the making of broth.
The variety of complexions and physiques illustrates Ghiyas-ud-din's connoisseur-like interest in feminine form. Ghiyas-ud-din's 'city of women’ so impressed the Mughal emperor Jahangir that, writing much later, he gives his own description of the Sultan's arrangements. 'They say that he had collected fifteen thousand women in his harem. He had a whole city of them and made it up of all castes, kinds and descriptions— artificers, magistrates, quazis, kotwals and whatever else is necessary for the administration of a town. Wherever he heard of a virgin possessed of beauty, he would not desist until he possessed her. He taught the girls all kinds of arts and crafts and was much inclined to hunt. He had made a deer-park and collected all kinds of animals in it. He often used to hunt in it with his own women.'
Both illustrations occur in the first and major portion of the book and may be either the work of Persian artists installed at Mandu or of Indian artists trained in the Turkman Shirazi technique.