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: 188.8.131.52 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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