"Shah Jahan on Horseback", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album
Painting by Payag (Indian, active ca. 1591–1658)
Mir 'Ali Haravi (d. ca. 1550)
verso: ca. 1630; recto: ca. 1530–50
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 15 5/16 in. (38.9 cm)
W. 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm)
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
Payag worked for the emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan over the course of a remarkably long, seven-decade career, and his brother Balchand was also a talented painter with whom he collaborated on a handful of paintings. The attribution of this portrait to Payag, written in the border below the painting by Shah Jahan, was recently confirmed by the discovery of a microscopic signature on the golden tip of the emperor’s bow.
Signature: 220.127.116.11 recto: In Persian, last line of calligraphy: The poor sinner 'Ali the scribe. Microscopic signature of Payag on the golden tip of the emperor’s bow.
Inscription: Inscription in Persian in nasta‘liq script:
Work of Payag
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (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]
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