Exhibitions/ Art Object
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Interior of a Courtyard with Figures

Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
Date:
early 17th century
Geography:
Attributed to India
Medium:
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
Image 5 5/8 in x 8 1/4 in
Page 7 1/8 in. x 8 3/8 in
Mat 14 1/14 in. x 19 1/4 in.
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1908
Accession Number:
08.124.2
Not on view
A royal figure bearing resemblance to the Emperor Akbar is seated within the sandstone walls of a Mughal building, cup raised towards a seated noble while others stand in attendance and musicians provide entertainment. John Seyller (in personal communication) has suggested that the painting was possibly created in the workshops of Akbar's son Salim, the future emperor Jahangir, at Allahabad where the prince was based during his rebellion from 1600 until 1604.[1] There are also compositional similarities between this present page and several folios of the Chester Beatty Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) of the same period.[2] The convention of likening the appearance of a figure to that of the sovereign occurs in the illustration of poetic and other texts as well as courtly gatherings such as this [3]. A similar view of a Persian water-wheel in the background occurs in several works by the artist Manohar, whose style may have influenced the painter of this page.[4]

Navina Haidar in [Calza 2012]

References:

1. Seyller, John. "The Walters Art Museum Diwan of Amir Hasan Dihlavi and Salim's Atelier at Allahabad." In Crill, Stronge and Topsfield, eds. Arts of Mughal India: Studies in Honour of Robert Skelton. London: Victoria and Albert Museum; Ahmedabad: Mapin. 2004, p. 102, fig. 9.

2. See Leach, Linda. Mughal and Other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library. London: Scorpian Cavendish. 1995, vol. 1, pp. 283 and 287 for comparable settings.

3. See Seyller, John, Painter's Directions in Early Indian Painting. Zurich: Museum Rietberg, 2000, p. 58, with the illustration of the story of a king and a bereaved mother, where the king resembles a young Akbar.

4. Ekhtiar, Maryam, Priscilla Soucek, Navina Najat Haidar, and Sheila Canby, eds. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011, p. 353, fig. 247B.

























1]
[ Daniel Z. Noorian, New York, until 1908; sold to MMA]
Rome. Museo Fondazione Roma. "Akbar: The Great Emperor of India," October 22, 2012–February 3, 2013, no. I.11.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi’s Miniature Paintings," July 29, 2013–February 2, 2014.

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011.

Calza, Gian Carlo. "The Great Emperor of India." In Akbar. Milan: Skira, 2012. no. I.11, pp. 100, 237, ill. p. 100 (color).



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