"Hamid Bhakari Punished by Akbar", Folio from an Akbarnama
Abu'l Fazl (1551–1602)
Painting attributed to Manohar (active ca. 1582–1624)
Illustrated album leaf
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
13.06 in. high 8.94 in. wide (33.3 cm high 22.6 cm wide)
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
Not on view
Written by the courtier Abu'l Fazl between 1589 and 1598, the Akbarnama chronicles the life of the emperor Akbar, including details on His Majesty’s affairs ranging from the issuing of edicts to his daily diet. The focus of this painting appears to be a royal hunting expedition, but in the lower left corner one finds the true subject: the courtier Hamid Bhakari stripped to his underclothes and forced to ride backwards on a donkey, a humiliation for an offense committed again the emperor.
Theodore M. Davis, New York (by 1914–d. 1915; bequeathed to MMA)
Beach, Milo. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Washington, D.C.: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1981. pp. 103, 120, attributing to Manohar, Hamid Bhakari punished by Akbar, dispersed leaf from Chester Beatty Akbar-nameh, vol. II; see Beveridge translation, vol. 2, 416-18; dates to ca. 1604 or slightly later.
Beach, Milo. Early Mughal Painting. The Polsky Lectures in Indian and Southeast Asian Art and Archaeology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987. p. 125, ill. fig. 85.
Kossak, Steven M., ed. Indian Court Painting 16th–19th century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 13, pp. 40-41, ill. (color).
Guy, John, and Jorrit Britschgi. Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India 1100–1900. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 17, pp. 58-59, ill. p. 59 (color).