Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"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

Painting by Balachand (active 1595–ca. 1650)
Painting by Daulat (active ca. 1595–1635)
Painting by Murad
Object Name:
Album leaf
recto: ca. 1610–15; verso: dated 1541
Attributed to India
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
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)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
These portraits were made for Jahangir (r. 1605–27), whose painters, while technically flawless, were able to reveal the nuances of characterization. 'Inayat Khan, a favorite courtier, is remembered today from two portraits made as he lay at death’s door, emaciated from his addiction to opium and wine, though here he appears healthy. 'Abd al-Khaliq met his death after siding with Shah Jahan against his father. Jamal Khan Qaravul was a minor nobleman, and the identification of the raja, in Jahangir’s handwriting, is illegible. verso–Calligraphy

An old man was heating a boy with his stick.
The boy said: "Don't beat me–for what is my fault?
I could tell you other men's cruelty, hut
If yourself are cruel, to whom could I cry?"
Addressing the lord, you may cry and complain;
You shouldn't cry, feeling the hand of the lord!

Written by the poor, lowly 'Ali the scribe [al-katib],
may God forgive his sins and cover his faults,
the last day of the blessed Ramadan 938
[A.D. 1541]

The poem is from Sa'di's Bustan, the chapter on contentment. It is surrounded in the upper lines by two verses from Jami's Yusuf and Zulaykha, close to the text which surrounds MMA fol. (pl. 46 in this volume); at the sides there are and ghazal fragments.

Annemarie Schimmel in [Welch et al. 1987]

IN THIS BORDER thin straight stems are in evidence, as they are on the recto. There is also a penchant for a color contrast between a flower's center and surrounding petals. The artist invariably includes a realistic tulip, often placed at an edge or corner as here at the lower left. He often includes a leaf with deeply indented outline and curled up like a cup as in the lower border. An iris appears in the left margin near the center with a narcissus two plants above it, and a plant perhaps intended for a zinnia or dahlia in the lower border, one in from the right corner. The little plant third in from the corner may be a tulip of the Tagetes species.

The border artist, one of the album's most prolific, appears to have also created the borders for fols., .17v, .19v, and .23r (pls. 73, 49, 11, and 16 in this volume).

Marie L. Swietochowski in [Welch et al. 1987] recto–Four Portraits

Upper left: (in Jahangir's hand) Raja (name illegible); (in Shahjahan's hand) "work of Balchand"
Upper right: 'Inayat Khan, ascribed to Daulat
Lower left: 'Abdul Khaliq, work of [?] (perhaps by Balchand)
Lower right: (in Jahangir's hand) "Work of Jamal Khan Qarawul, Murad" (original inscription on the right in Shahjahan's hand has been effaced)

ca. 1610–15

'INAYAT KHAN was one of Jahangir's favorite courtiers, and the drawing of the dying 'Inayat Khan has been reproduced many times.[1] Here we have a portrait of a younger, healthy 'Inayat Khan. His sad end is described thus by the emperor: "On this day (28 Mihr A.H. 1027 [A.D. 1618]) came the news of the death of 'Inayat Khan. He was one of our closest servants. Even though he ate opium, he would also take a cup whenever the opportunity presented itself. Little by little he became addicted to wine and, since he was of a weak constitution, it sapped him of his strength and vigor. He became afflicted with dysentery and, in this weakened state, was overcome two or three times by cataleptic fits. By our command Hakim Rukna undertook to treat him, but all his strategems were in vain. In addition, he had an amazing appetite and, despite the fact that the Hakim insisted that he not eat more than once a day, he could not control himself and would rage like a madman until finally he got dropsy and became exceedingly emaciated. A few days prior to this he requested that he be allowed to proceed to Agra. I ordered him brought into my presence before his departure, and he was carried in on a palanquin. He seemed so weak and thin that it was amazing, 'skin stretched over bones,' as the saying goes, but even his bones had begun to disintegrate. Although [our artists exaggerate greatly when drawing emaciated people, nothing resembling him has ever been seen in this world, ... and so I ordered the artists to draw a likeness of him. In short, finding his condition so altered, I told him that at such a time he should not draw a single breath without recollecting the Deity and that he should not despair of His generosity."[2]

Of 'Abdul-Khaliq there is a mention in Muhammad-Hadi's appendix to the Jahangirnama for the twenty-first regnal year (A.D. 1626): "At this time 'Abdul-Khaliq, nephew of Khwaja Shamsuddin Muhammad of Khwaf, who was one of Asaf Khan's employees and companions, was dispatched with the sword of arrogance to the desert of nonexistence along with Muhammad-Taqi, Shahjahan's bakhshi, as the two of them had been taken prisoner during the siege of Burhanpur."'[3]

Wheeler M. Thackston in [Welch et al. 1987]

LESSER courtiers also found their places in imperial albums. Sometimes, as here, their likenesses are particularly lively, perhaps because painters found them easily approachable. Flowers in the foreground of these portraits–which evolved from earlier ones with plain green grounds (see pl. 22 in this volume)–establish the figures convincingly in space. But to flower-loving Jahangir they may also have invited transplantation into borders, a uniquely Mughal innovation that enriches many folios of the Kevorkian Album.

On the upper left is Balchand's portrait, which is perhaps of Raja Sarang Rao, who according to the Tuzuk was promoted in the fifteenth year of the reign of Jahangir, received another promotion following Shahjahan's rebellion, and was later sent to Prince Parviz in 1623–24 with a gracious firman.[4] This work shows the nuances of characterization and fineness of technique brought to small full-length portraits under Jahangir's direction. Subtle harmonies of color, such imaginative touches as reddish-brown pajamas filtered to pink through the muslin jama, elaborately inventive arapesques, and the elegant buoyancy of pose are characteristic of Balchand. (See also pls. 11 and 67 in this volume).

'Inayat Khan might have been forgotten had not Govardhan recorded him just before his tragic death (see above) in two portraits–one drawn, the other painted. Among the best known of all Mughal pictures, they are also the most harrowing, especially when compared to this likeness of the elegant but minor official in good health in which one recognizes the same facial angle, aristocratic nose, and tortoise-like mouth.

The present portrait is ascribed to Daulat, an artist whose career opened in the later sixteenth century under the influence of Basawan. For Jahangir, he painted perceptive studies of personality that invite comparison to those by Govardhan, another of Basawan's followers, whose characterizations surpass Daulat's in seriousness and technique. Perhaps because of this challenge, Daulat's rather thinly pigmented, agreeably colored portraits became more conventional. Although the present miniature is the only one by Daulat in the Kevorkian Album, the album also contains several splendid borders in gold over indigo signed with the same name, which might represent another aspect of his accomplishment. A capable if unexciting figural artist, Daulat contributed at least one miniature to the Windsor Padshahnama, the Reduction of Qandahar, (fol. 203v).[5]

On the lower left is an unascribed portrait of 'Abdul Khaliq. This ill-fated nobleman is shown with his hands held up as though to receive an imperial command. Hands and textiles are painted with finesse in colors that justify an attribution to Balchand.

On the lower right is a portrait of Jamal Khan Qarawul. This lesser nobleman holds a matchlock and has the intent gaze and firmness of a huntsman. Murad, who recorded him with exacting precision–and with the artist's usual pipestem legs–was a greatly accomplished member of the imperial ateliers, whose extraordinarily detailed scenes for the Windsor Padshahnama provide lively and informative views of Shahjahan's life and surroundings. One of these (Jahangir Receiving Shahjahan [fol. 193v]) is inscribed as the work of Murad, "pupil of Nadir az-zaman [Abu'l-Hasan]." The influence of Abu'l-Hasan (pl. 13) is evident in Murad's technique, mastery of crowd scenes, and comprehensive observation of objects as well as people. So inventive and knowing are his depictions of architecture that he must also have designed architectural ornament.[6]

Stuart Cary Welch in [Welch et al. 1987]

AT EACH SIDE there is a line of Persian poetry, describing a mighty battle. Since these lines are from a mathnavi in the mutaqarib meter, they may be from Nizami's Iskandarnama.

Annemarie Schimmel in [Welch et al. 1987]

THIS RECTO LEAF has the number 12 in the margin and presumably was originally part of the same album as MMA fol. (pls. 21 and 22 in this volume), a Group A album. Mounting four portraits on one folio was not unusual in Mughal albums. It would be of interest to know if the page that would have faced it, an 11 verso, also had four portraits mounted together. The portrait of 'Inayat Khan in the upper right comer is, according to the inscription, by Daulat. Is this the same artist as Daulat the border-painter? In all probability, it is. The drawing
and brushwork are extremely fine and the sensitivity of the face is revealing. The consistent practice of Daulat of using humble epithets before his name, whether in painting or border figures or floral borders, suggests a single artist.[7] Also the signatures are written in what appears to be the same hand and always in tiny letters.

The borders of this folio are not by Daulat but are in a different style with flowers with rather straight, thin stems. The artist had not much scope on this border because of its reduced size, but his style emerges more distinctly on the verso (pl. 25 in this volume). An iris can be seen in the center of the inner border with perhaps a chrysanthemum third from the bottom in the left border, with a tulip third from the top. A narcissus can be identified in the right comer of the upper left painting, an iris in the right comer of the upper right painting, an iris in the left comer of the lower left painting, and perhaps a narcissus in the left comer of the lower left painting.

Marie L. Swietochowski in [Welch et al. 1987]


I. See, e.g., Beach, Milo Cleveland. The Grand Mogul: Imperial Painting in India, 1600–1660. Williamstown, Mass., Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1978, no. 60; Welch, Stuart Cary. Indian Drawings and Painted Sketches. New York, Asia Society, 1976, no. 16; the finished painting is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

2. Jahangir Gurkani, Nur al-Din Muhammad. Jahangirnama: Tuzuk-i Jahangiri. Ed. Muhammad Hashim. Teheran, A.H. 1349/ A.D. 1970, p. 280f.

3. Ibid., p. 491.

4. Jahangir. The Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri; or Memoirs of Jahangir. Trans. Alexander Rogers. Ed. Henry Beveridge. 2 vols. London, 1909–1914, II, pp. 182, 250, and 281.

5. For both portraits of the dying 'Inayat Khan, see Welch, Stuart Cary, India! Art and Culture 1300–1900. Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, cat. no. 149a, b; for a dramatic scene by Basawan, see ibid., no. 110. For an early work by the youthful and aspiring Daulat influenced by Basawan, from a copy of Jami's Nafahat al Uns, dated 1602–1603, in the British Library (Or. 1362), see Wellesz, Emmy. Akbar's Religious Thought Reflected in Mogul Painting. London, 1952, pl. 35 (erroneously ascribed to Basawan and Daswanth); and for one of his Govardhanesque scenes of devotees, see Welch, Stuart Cary, and Beach, Milo Cleveland. Gods, Thrones, and Peacocks. New York, Asia Society, 1965, no. 8.

6. Other miniatures ascribed to this prolific painter in the Windsor Castle Padshahnama are fols. 49r, 143r, 146v, and 216v; others can be added on grounds of style: fols. 116r, 123v, and 124r. For other pictures by him, see Portrait of a Royal Servant, in Colnaghi, P. and D., &. Co. Ltd. Persian and Mughal Art. London, 1976, no. 113; An Antelope, formerly collection of the comtesse de Bearn, in Marteau, Georges, and Vever, Henri. Miniatures persanes tirées des collections . .. et exposeés au Museé des arts decoratifs, juin-octobre 1912. Paris, 1913. vol. II, pl. CLXIV; and A Warrior Frightened by Tribesmen, from a manuscript of Sa'di's Gulistan, private collection (formerly marquess of Bute), in Welch, Stuart Cary, India! Art and Culture 1300–1900. Exh. cat. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, cat. no. 158f.

7. See Beach, Grand Mogul (note 1), pp. 113–14, under Daulat.
Inscription: recto:
In Persian (in Jahangir's hand) below upper left portrait: "Portrait of Raja..."
In Persian (in Shah Jahan's hand) below upper left portrait: "Work of Balchand"
In Persian, below upper right portrait: "Portrait of Inayat Khan, work of Daulat"
In Persian, along right edge of lower left portrait: "Portrait of Abd al-Khaliq, work of Naroyam (?)"
In Persian (in Jahangir's hand) above lower right portrait: "Portrait of Jamal Khan, Karawal (the huntsman), work of Murad" verso:
In Persian, in three vertical panels: "The humble sinner the despicable 'Ali the scribe. Allah forgive him his sins and cancel his faults! In the last days of the Blessed Muharram year 928 (December A.D. 1521)"
In Persian, at the end of calligraphy: "The slave wrote it"

Marking: recto:
Margin number '12' is inscribed in the gilt margin.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, no. 121, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, from 1929]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; gift and sale to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "INDIA !," September 14, 1985, no. 148.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Emperor's Album: Images of Mughal India," October 21, 1987–February 14, 1988, nos. 25 and 26.

London. National Portrait Gallery, London. "The Indian Portrait 1560-1860," March 11, 2010–June 20, 2010, no. 16.

Sotheby's: Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures. London: Sotheby's, New York, 1929. no. 121.

Welch, Stuart Cary. "Art and Culture 1300–1900." In India!. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1985. no. no 148, p. 226, ill. (color).

Welch, Stuart Cary, Annemarie Schimmel, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The Emperors' Album: Images of Mughal India. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. nos. 25, 26, pp. 130-134, ill., verso pl. 25 (color); recto pl. 26 (color).

Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. p. 202, ill. fig. 239 (b/w), recto.

Crill, Rosemary, and Kapil Jariwala. The Indian Portrait, 1560–1860. London: National Portrait Gallery, London, 2010. no. 16, pp. 80-81, ill. p. 81 (color).

Beach, Milo C., Eberhard Fischer, and B.N. Goswamy. Masters of Indian Painting. Vol. Vols. I, II. Zurich, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae Publishers, 2011. vol. I, p. 338.

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