Art/ Collection/ Art Object

"Portrait of Khan Dauran Bahadur Nusrat Jang", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Painting by Murad
Mir 'Ali Haravi (d. ca. 1550)
Object Name:
Album leaf
verso: ca. 1640; recto: 1530–50
Attributed to India
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
H. 15 5/8 in. (38.9 cm)
W. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Accession Number:
Not on view
The subject of this portrait was viceroy of the Deccan and one of Shah Jahan’s leading soldiers. For distinguished service during the conquest of Daulatabad, he received the title "Khan Dauran." By the time of his death in 1645, Khan Dauran had been promoted to the highest imperial rank held by a person of nonroyal blood. verso–Khan-Dauran Bahadur Nusrat-Jang

INSCRIBED: (in Shahjahan's hand) shabih-i
Khan-Dauran Bahadur Nusrat-Jang, 'amal-i
Murad (a portrait of Khan-Dauran Bahadur
Nusrat-Jang, done by Murad)

KHAN-DAURAN was born Khwaja Sabir, the son of Khwaja Hisari Naqshbandi. Patronized as a youth by the Khankhanan 'Abdur-Rahim, he later entered the service of the Nizamshah of Ahmadnagar in the Deccan, where he received the title Shahnawaz Khan.

Returning to Mughal territory he joined Prince Khurram (Shahjahan) and was entitled Nasiri Khan. He remained a loyal supporter of the prince during Shahjahan's rebellion against his father Jahangir until the decisive Battle of Tons in 1624, when Nasiri Khan's father-in-law 'Abdullah Khan deserted the prince and went over to Malik 'Ambar, and Nasiri Khan was obliged to follow. After Malik 'Ambar's death he remained in the Nizamshah's service until the second regnal year of Shahjahan, when he presented himself at court and received the rank of 3000/2000.

Among the many military campaigns in which he participated were the siege and conquest of Qandahar and the conquest of Daulatabad. For distinguished service during the latter campaign, he received the title Khan-Dauran and the rank of 5000/5000.

In Shahjahan's ninth regnal year (1636), Khan-Dauran led the "chastisernent" against Jujhar Singh the Bundela and his son Bikramajit, who had rebelled against the ernperor; he sent their heads to court, for which he received the title Bahadur. The next year he presented Shahjahan with two hundred elephants he had taken from Bijapur and Golconda. An elephant named Gajmoti, which was taken from the Qutbshah of Golconda, was considered the finest elephant in the Deccan. For this, the title Nusrat-Jang was bestowed upon Khan-Dauran.

By the time of his death in 1645 Khan-Dauran had been promoted to the highest imperial rank held by a person of nonroyal blood, 7000/7000. He died from a knife wound inflicted by a Brahmin servant he had taken from Kashmir and converted to Islam.

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

MURAD Is best known for his illustrations to the Windsor Padshahnama, one of which (fol. 193v) provides the narne of his mentor. It is signed "the pupil of Nadir az-zaman, Murad." He is most admired for detailed interior views of Shahjahan's palace. Indeed, the primary subjects of his historical pictures are not people but the richly polychromed walls, screens (jalis), and railings decorated with lively arabesques and acanthus motifs based upon European as well as Iranian and Mughal prototypes. (Many of the European motifs
were derived from engravings, such as those of Enea Vico, which were published in Rome in the sixteenth century.) These elements and his renderings of carpets and other textiles provide such vivid and complete pictorial sources for the study of the architecture and ornament
of the Shahjahan period that it seems likely he worked as a designer as well as an artist. Forms are immaculately hard-edged; colors are dark and glowing, with much crimson, slate green, and burnt orange, applied with jewel-like precision.[1]

Murad's painting in the Windsor Padshahnama showing the departure of Prince Muhammad Shah Shuja' for the conquest of the Deccan includes a portrait of Khan-Dauran Bahadur Nusrat-Jang (fol. 146v; Appendix, fig. 27) that is nearly identical to the present one. Differences are few: in the manuscript, he wears a sword but no katar (dagger), his hands rest upon a long staff, and his jama is less transparent. But the most peculiar feature is the same–his stance, with one cushion-like knee shot forward in a surprisingly unmilitary wobble.[2]

Stuart Cary Welch in [Welch et al. 1987]

THIS VERSO portrait has the rnargin number 2 and belongs to Group B. It would have originally faced MMA fol. 30r (pl. 70 in this volume) and the borders of both appear to be by the same hand. There is no cutout poetry in the innermost border. The inner border contains gold cloud bands within a cartouche framework and is wider than usual. The outer border has boldly rendered large plants in colors and gold on a buff ground. From left to right in the upper border the plants can be identified as perhaps chrysanthemum, rose, lily, iris, and Umbelliferae (similar to Queen Anne's lace). Below the Umbelliferae there is a lily, and farther down at the left possibly a double narcissus, with a stylized lily slightly below and to its right. A small iris occupies the lower right comer. In the narrow inner border there is also an iris with a tulip below it and a Primula floribunda below the tulip.

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


I. He provided the following illustrations to the Windsor Castle Padshahnama: fol. 49r, The Return of Prince Khurram to his Father After the Reduction of Maharana Amar Singh of Mewar, signed "Murad Musavvir lthe Painter]," based on an earlier drawing (for which see
Falk, Toby, and Archer, Mildred. Indian Miniatures in the India Office Library. London, Delhi, Karachi, 1981, no. 56); fol. 143r, The Siege of Daulatabad by Shah Shuja', signed "Murad"; fol. 146v, The Departure of Shah Shuja' for the Deccan, signed "Murad"; fol. 193v, Jahangir Receives Prince Khurram, signed "Nadir az-zaman's pupil Murad"; and fol. 216v, Shahjahan Receives Prince Aurangzeb, signed "Murad." Fol. 115v, Shahjahan Receives an Embassy of Europeans, is unsigned but attributable to him. Shahjahan Honors the Religious Orthodoxy, a double-page composition attributable to him, was separated from the manuscript and is now in the Freer Gallery (see Welch, Stuart Cary. Imperial Mughal Painting. New York, 1978, pls. 31 and 32).

2. For a portrait of the Khan-Dauran as a thick, bent, old curmudgeon with an engagingly wicked gruffness, sec Hashim's miniature in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (Arnold, Thomas W, and Wilkinson, J. V. S. The Library of A. Chester Beatty: A Catalogue of the Indian Miniatures. 3 vols. London, 1936, III, pl. 72). Two later versions are in the collection of the India Office Library, a miniature (no. 105 viii) and a drawing (no. 74); see Falk and Archer, Indian Miniatures in the India Office Library (note 1), nos. 74 and 105 viii. A miniature by Daulat in the Windsor Padshahnama shows him receiving prisoners after the reduction of Daulatahad (fol. 203v). An unusually large drawing of his face in profile, probably by Hashim, is in the Red Fort Museum, Old Delhi. recto–Calligraphy

A silver-bodied idol ruined me–
I know I'll never live now without pain!
A hundred deaths were better than this life!
No infidel may live through such a day!
The poor [al-faqirl Mir-'Ali

The quatrain is written on marbleized paper. It is surrounded by a poetical prayer in the mutaqarib meter, possibly from Sa'di's Bustan.

Annemarie Schimmel in [Welch et al. 1987]

THIS RECTO calligraphy page has the same border scheme as its verso (pl. 71 in this volume) and was painted by the same hand. The inner border is a variant on the palmette, flower-head, and leaf-scroll border, here gold on blue, with the flower heads superimposed on each other to give a flowering leaf shape to the palmettes. Of the plants in the outer border, in colors and gold on a buff ground, the three large plants in the middle section of the wider left border belong to the lily family; while in the bottom left comer is a stylized rose.

Marie L. Swietochowski in [Welch et al. 1987]
Signature: recto:
In Persian in border below calligraphy: The poor Mir 'Ali.

Inscription: verso:
In Persian, under portrait (in Shah Jahan's hand): "Portrait of Khan Dauran Bahadur Nusrat Jang, work of Murad"
In Persian, on shield: "Work of the servant Murad"

Marking: verso:
Margin number '2' is inscribed in the gilt margin.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, no. 123, 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. "The Emperor's Album: Images of Mughal India," October 21, 1987–February 14, 1988, nos. 71 and 72.

Sotheby's: Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures. London: Sotheby's, New York, 1929. no. 123.

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. 71, 72, pp. 225, 227-229, ill., verso pl. 71 (color); recto pl. 72 (color).

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