Woman Playing a Setar

Era: Qajar period, Iran
Date: circa 1830
Dimensions: overall: 172.1 x 83.8 cm
Medium: oil on canvas
Kept in Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Hawaii, USA
Sources: [1],[2]
زن نوازنده قاجاری با بالا تنه بدن نما - بنیاد هنر اسلامی دوریس دوک در شانگری لا، هاوایی، آمریکا
This 19th century painting depicts a young female musician playing setar and dressed in a see through shirt. Setar originated in Persia before the spread of Islam, and it is a member of the lute family, which is played with index finger of the right hand.

According to the Foundation, beautiful young female musicians, dancers, and acrobats were a favorite subject of erotic oil paintings created during the reign of Fath Ali Shah and his grand son Mohammad Shah Qajar. Such paintings were hung in the private rooms of the king's palaces, not in public reception rooms.

To learn more about Doris Duke Foundation click here: [3] - in Persian