Princess Zebunissa (1638-1702) listens to music in  women’s quarters. Deccan, India.18th C.Mughal
Indian Portraits from the collection of Anil Relia
Inscription: (front) Princesa Begomsaep Hermana Del Rey Oranghseep
This picture is inscribed in Spanish “Princesa Begomsaep Hermana Del Rey Oranghseep”, which translates to “Princess Begum Zeb, Sister of the King Aurangzeb”. This fanciful inscription, whether contemporary or a later addition, was written by someone who had limited knowledge of Mughal genealogy, as Begum Zeb or Zeb-un- Nissa (1638-1701/2) was actually the daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb and his Safavid wife Dilras Banu Begum. She was born in Daulatabad while Aurangzeb was viceroy of the Deccan
Zeb-un- Nissa was well educated and is said to have been knowledgeable in many different disciplines. Aside from several imaginative romantic intrigues, she is perhaps best remembered for her poetry. She wrote under the nickname Makhfi (Concealed). Despite having many suitors, Zeb-un- Nissa remained unmarried. Her correspondence with her rebellious brother Muhammad Akbar led to her father, Aurangzeb (cat. 16 and 19), imprisoning her in Salimgarh Fort for the last two decades of her life.