Art Directory India

The Indian Mona Lisa

The Indian Mona Lisa


“Radha Bani-Thani” or “The Indian Mona Lisa” is a well known Indian miniature painting of the Marwar school of Kishangarh. It was painted by Nihalchand during the time of king Sawant Singh.
Bani Thani was a singer and poet in Sawant Singh’s court. She was always well dressed and hence the name, Bani Thani. The painting is said to be inspired by Radha (Lord Krishna’s consort) as Sawant Singh was a devotee of Lord Krishna. Bani Thani later became his queen.
The distinct features of the painting include arched eyebrows, pointed nose, lotus shaped eyes and thin lips. Bani Thani can be seen wearing lehenga-choli with transparent printed veil. She is wearing pearl jewellery. Her long and curly locks add beauty to the painting. She is holding two lotus buds in her left hand and is holding her veil with the right hand. Her enigmatic smile is compared to that of Mona Lisa.
The dark background of the painting highlights its subject. This painting was also featured in an Indian stamp. We can also see the influence of Mughal school as this is a side-profile portrait. This artwork is considered as the masterpiece of artist Nihalchand.
It is now a part of National Museum, New Delhi.
Image Source: Google

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