By Balchand, Daulat, Murad
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm), W. 10 3/8 in. (26.4 cm)
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955 (126.96.36.199)
This folio features four portraits of notables from the Mughal court. In the upper right is a painting of Inayat Khan, a close companion to the fourth ruler of the Mughal dynasty, Jahangir, which has been ascribed to the hand of the esteemed artist Daulat. In the upper left is a Raja. Below them stand the courtiers 'Abdu'l Khaliq (left) and Jamal Khan (right). These sensitive studies feature the subject in three-quarter view, each with his face rendered in profile.
This folio demonstrates the practice of assembling several portraits, often painted or drawn by separate artists, on one page. Such assemblies of noblemen in the imperial album can be seen as early as the fifteenth century, in the Timurid court of Iran. Typically, such portraits would be drawn and painted separately, and then set into borders that were often highly ornate. The album format, which is used here, consists of a bound collection of paintings, drawings, and specimens of calligraphy. This format sees its ascendancy during the Timurid period, achieving its most celebrated form in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Iran and India, under the illustrious Safavids and Mughals.