"Four Portraits: (upper left) A Raja (Perhaps Raja Sarang Rao), by Balchand; (upper right) 'Inayat Khan, by Daulat; (lower left) 'Abd al-Khaliq, probably by Balchand; (lower right) Jamal Khan Qaravul, by Murad", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Artist: Painting by Balachand (active 1595–ca. 1650)

Artist: Painting by Daulat (active ca. 1595–1635)

Artist: Painting by Murad

Object Name: Album leaf

Date: recto: ca. 1610–15; verso: ca. 1541

Geography: India

Culture: Islamic

Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Dimensions: Overall page: Ht. 15 3/16 in. (38.6 cm)
W. 10 3/16 in. (25.9 cm)
Painting inside border: Ht. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
W. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)
All four portraits: Ht. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm)
W. 5 3/16 in. (13.2 cm)
Portrait (top left): Ht. 5 5/16 in. (13.5 cm)
W. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
Portrait (top right): Ht. 5 5/8 in. (14.3 cm)
W. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
Portrait (bottom left): Ht. 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
W. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm)
Portrait (bottom right): Ht. 4 7/16 in. (11.3 cm)
W. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)

Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955

Accession Number: 55.121.10.29

Description

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.

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