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"Portrait of Maharaja Bhim Kanwar", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Painting by Nanha

Calligrapher:
Mir 'Ali Haravi (d. ca. 1550)
Object Name:
Album leaf
Date:
verso: ca. 1615–29; recto: ca. 1540
Geography:
India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm) W. 10 1/16 in. (25.6 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Accession Number:
55.121.10.2
  • Description

    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.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: 55.121.10.2 recto:
    In Persian, in lower left corner triangle: The poorest of slaves, 'Ali.

    Inscription: 55.121.10.2 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.

    55.121.10.2 recto:
    In Persian, on the gold border: Illumination the work of the slave of the threshold Daulat.

    Marking: 55.121.10.2 verso:
    Margin number '57' is inscribed in the gilt margin.

  • Provenance

    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]

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
451265:3

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