A royal figure bearing resemblance to the Emperor Akbar is seated within the sandstone walls of a Mughal building, cup raised towards a seated noble while others stand in attendance and musicians provide entertainment. John Seyller (in personal communication) has suggested that the painting was possibly created in the workshops of Akbar's son Salim, the future emperor Jahangir, at Allahabad where the prince was based during his rebellion from 1600 until 1604. There are also compositional similarities between this present page and several folios of the Chester Beatty Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) of the same period. The convention of likening the appearance of a figure to that of the sovereign occurs in the illustration of poetic and other texts as well as courtly gatherings such as this (see Seyller 2000, p. 58, with the illustration of the story of a king and a bereaved mother, where the king resembles a young Akbar). A similar view of a Persian water-wheel in the background occurs in several works by the artist Manohar, whose style may have influenced the painter of this page.
[ Daniel Z. Noorian, New York, until 1908; sold to MMA]
Rome. Museo Fondazione Roma, Ghislaine Pardo. "Akbar: The Great Emperor of India," October 22, 2012–February 3, 2013.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi’s Miniature Paintings," July 29, 2013–February 2, 2014.
Calza, Gian Carlo. "The Great Emperor of India." In Akbar. Milan: Skira, 2012. no. I.11, pp. 100, 237, ill. p. 100 (color).