A Woman of the Court at Faizabad (Reproduction of Painting by British Artist Tilly Kettle)

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Rich in colors and justifying the beauty of its subject with the use of mastered brush strokes, this oil on canvas painting is a recreation of a painting by British artist Tilly Kettle during his visit to the court of Shjaud-daula, the Nawab of Awadh. The painting is titled “A Woman of the Court at Faizabad” and probably represents a nautch (dancing) girl who performed at the court of the Nawab.

This item can be backordered
Time required to recreate this artwork
5 to 6 weeks
Advance to be paid now
$85 (20%)
Balance to be paid once product is ready
Item Code: OT49
Oil Painting on Canvas
Dimensions 36 inch X 60 inch
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

The identity of the subject of this oil on canvas painting can be deduced from her confident stance and absence of Purdah (veil), two features which are associated with female court performers and not women who belong to high-class, orthodox families. The fact that the woman agreed to pose for a stranger also hints at her belonging to the group of royal court dancers. And it is our good fortune that she agreed, otherwise we would not have gotten the chance to gaze at her otherworldly beauty through this oil on canvas.


Her beauty is made even more exquisite by her solah sringar (16 kinds of ornamentations prescribed for the Indian woman) and the fiery red sari that wraps her voluptuous physique. The color red and heavy ornamentation were chosen carefully by her attendants along with all sorts of fineries to make her presentable. Emeralds and rubies studded in finely made gold jewelry provide her and the painting with numerous eye-catching and vibrant tinges. Her large, brown eyes, highlighted with kohl and hints of blue eyeshadow, look away from the spectator, toward something happening outside of the canvas. What could it be? Is she scolding a servant who spoilt the gorgeous carpet? Or is she ordering everyone to leave the space, so that she can enjoy the hookah in solitude, after taking care of her vast household the entire day? This is the magic of the painting. Adorned by the presence of the most ravishing beauty, this work by Tilly Kettle leaves the viewer curious, looking to complete the picture.  

Crafting Masterpieces: An Insight into the Making of Indian Oil Paintings

Oil painting is the most interesting technique in art. Unlike other paintings or art forms, oil painting is a process in which colored pigments are painted on the canvas with a drying oil medium as a binder. This medium helps colors blend beautifully to create layers and also makes them appear rich and dense. Several varieties of oil are used in this painting such as sunflower oil, linseed oil, etc., and depending on the quality of the oil, a particular consistency of the paint is developed. With the use of an oil medium, the painting gets a natural sheen on the surface which appears extremely attractive. India is famous for its old tradition of making oil paintings. This art form was brought by Europeans in the 18th century and is now practiced by almost all well-known artists. Nirmal, a small tribal town in the state of Telangana is the center of traditional oil paintings in India where the local people practice it with dedication. Most Indian artists still use the traditional technique of oil painting.

Canvas of the required size is prepared

The artists use either a wood panel or canvas made from linen or cotton. Sometimes the canvas is stretched onto the wooden frame to form a solid base, or cardboard may be used. The canvas is coated with a layer of white paint or chalk mixed with animal glue. This mixture is then smoothed and dried to form a uniform, textured surface. The wooden panel is more expensive and heavier but its solidity is an advantage in making detailed paintings with ease.
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Sketch is drawn on the canvas

Now the artist starts to draw the subject of the painting on the canvas using the actual charcoal or a charcoal pencil. Sometimes, he may sketch with thinned paint as well.

Oil paint is applied using paint brushes or palette knives

Now that the rough sketch is prepared, the artist is now ready to paint. Oil paint, a special paint that contains particles of pigments suspended in a drying oil (usually linseed oil), is again mixed with oil to make it thinner for applying it on the canvas. Proper consistency of the paint is maintained to avoid its breakage. The most important rule for the application of oil paint is “Fat over lean” in which the first layer of paint is thin and later, thicker layers are applied. This means that each additional layer of paint contains more oil. This results in getting a stable paint film. Traditionally, paint was applied using paint brushes but now the artists also use palette knives to create crisp strokes. To paint using this technique, the edge of the palette knife is used to create textured strokes that appear different from that of a paintbrush. Sometimes, oil paints are blended simply using fingers for getting the desired gradation.
Smaller oil paintings, with very fine detail, are relatively easier to paint than larger ones. The most attractive feature of these paintings is the natural shiny appearance that is obtained on the surface because of the use of oil paint. The blending of colors looks extremely realistic and this is the reason why oil paintings are loved by everyone throughout the world.
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