"Portrait of Maharaja Bhim Kanwar", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album
Painting by Nanha
Mir 'Ali Haravi (d. ca. 1550)
verso: ca. 1615–29; recto: ca. 1540
Attributed to India
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm)
W. 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm)
H. 6 7/16 in. (16.4 cm)
W. 3 13/16 in. (9.7 cm)
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Not on view
Maharaja Bhim Kunwar wears a diaphanous jama tied to the left, an ornately decorated patka, or sash, and a sword hanging from his waist. He is set against a cyan background, typical of portraiture of the early seventeenth century. Bhim Kunwar, son of the Rajput ruler of Mewar, Rana Amar Singh, was given the title of maharaja by Shah Jahan, and was a staunch supporter and ally of the Mughal house. As demonstrated by the inclusion of his portrait in the Shah Jahan Album, Hindu nobility featured prominently in the ranks of the Mughal empire; Shah Jahan himself was the son of a Rathor Rajput princess.
Signature: 220.127.116.11 recto: In Persian, in lower left corner triangle: The poorest of slaves, 'Ali.
Inscription: 18.104.22.168 verso: In Persian, on the green ground to the left of portrait in Jahangir's hand: By Nanha, a portrait of Bhim Kunwar, son of Rana Amar Singh who received the title of Maharaja. In Persian, on the pink and gold floral border in Shah Jahan's hand: Our best servants during the days of our princehood were Maharaja Bhim and Raja Bikramajit, and they both took our part.
22.214.171.124 recto: In Persian, on the gold border: Illumination the work of the slave of the threshold Daulat.
Marking: 126.96.36.199 verso: Margin number '57' is inscribed in the gilt margin.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, from 1929]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; gift and sale to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Emperor's Album: Images of Mughal India," October 21, 1987–February 14, 1988, nos. 33 and 34.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Perfect Page: The Art of Embellishment in Islamic Book Design," May 17, 1991–August 18, 1991, no catalogue.
Museum of Archaeology: Loan exhibtion of antiquities. 1911. ill. pl. LXIII.
Welch, Stuart Cary, Annemarie Schimmel, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The Emperors' Album: Images of Mughal India. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. nos. 33, 34, pp. 148-149, 151-153, ill., verso pl. 33 (color); recto pl. 34 (color).
Haidar, Navina. "Visual Splendour: Embellished Pages from the Metropolitan Museum 's Collection of Islamic and Indian Manuscripts." Arts of Asia vol. 42 (2012). pp. 111-112, ill. fig. 7 (color), (folio 188.8.131.52r).