Portuguese Continental and Overseas Expansion Art
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- Private collection, Brussels
- Edric van Vredenburgh collection, Brussels
A rare luxury cabinet from the Mughal region of Gujarat, featuring carpet-like compositions framed by peripheral borders of stylized Chinese-inspired cloud motifs.
All the scenes are centred on a flowering tree evoking the Garden of Paradise, a theme which emerges from Persian heritage, symbolising the strength of life and its origins and acting as the link between earth and heaven.
On each side, a Sufi scholar holds the sacred texts, probably the spiritual guide of the young man on the right, a student.
The scene seems to illustrate the old Sufi master’s meditation on the path to rise and get closer to God.
On the top, two figures hold tambourines in an allusion to the role of music in the mystical experience. In such practices, the rhythm of tambourines boosted the field of individual consciousness and facilitated access to the mysteries of higher worlds.
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