"The Emperor Shah Jahan with his Son Dara Shikoh", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Artist: Painting by Nanha

Calligrapher: Mir 'Ali Haravi (d. ca. 1550)

Object Name: Album leaf

Date: verso: ca. 1620; recto: ca. 1530–50

Geography: Attributed to India

Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Margins: Gold and opaque watercolor on dyed paper

Dimensions: H. 15 5/16 in. (38.9 cm)
W. 10 5/16 in. (26.2 cm)

Classification: Codices

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

Accession Number: 55.121.10.36

Description

This superbly painted image framed by a splendid border shows the future emperor Shah Jahan admiring jewels with his favorite son. Holding a tray of emeralds and rubies, the father contemplates a ruby in his right hand, while the child grasps a peacock fan and a turban ornament. The sumptuousness of court life is conveyed in the detailed depiction of the jewels, the gilded furniture, the textiles, and, most spectacularly, the large bolster with its designs of figures and plants.

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