"Akbar With Lion and Calf", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album
Painting by Govardhan (active ca. 1596–1645)
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
Not on view
This posthumous portrait of Akbar incorporates the Elizabethan-derived motif of a lion and calf living in peace under the emperor’s benign rule. Govardhan, a master of psychological portraiture, has given the calf an air of meek nervousness, as expressed in its sideways glance and lowered ears, due no doubt to the proximity of the lion’s visible teeth. Cherubs above and a Netherlandish background add cosmopolitan touches in vogue at the time.
Inscription: 188.8.131.52 verso: In Persian, in lower border (in Shah Jahan's hand): Work of Govardhan.
Marking: 184.108.40.206 verso: Margin number '26' 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]
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