A Portrait of Farhad Khan

Not on view

The subject of this painting is identified in two places as Farhad Khan, and while little is known about this figure in history, his sumptuous golden garments reveal that he was a person of distinction. The artist has depicted Farhad Khan holding a rose, indicating his refined taste, and a sword, a common attribute in portraiture at the Islamic courts of India. Portraits of Africans in the Deccan are illustrated in the same manner as other courtiers in this period, and these paintings reflect the unique form of social mobility sometimes afforded in Islamicate systems of slavery. East African slaves held roles as military commanders and could rise to the rank of nobles with the ability to pass on titles and properties to heirs.

A Portrait of Farhad Khan, Opaque watercolor and gold on paper

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