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Painting  - Zu'lfiqar Khan

Zu'lfiqar Khan

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    1605-1627 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nanha (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Muhammad Beg, who had the title Zu'lfiqar Khan, was one of the faithful servants of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who has identified the subject in the inscription on the green ground at left, and added that Zu'lfiqar Khan was unequalled for his skills in archery, and was one of the emperor's faithful servants, in the inscription beneath the portrait. Zu'lfiqar Khan died in 1611. The painting which dates to about 1610 is mounted on a page for a royal album, and the very fine gold painted border on indigo ground is signed by the illuminator, Dowlat, in a minuscule inscription on the outer gold border framing the picture, at lower right. The emperor's notes add that the portrait was by Nanha, one of Jahangir's leading artists.

Physical description

Painting, opaque watercolour on paper, portrait of Zu'lfiqar Khan, a nobleman.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)


1605-1627 (made)


Nanha (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

shabih-e Zu'lfiqar Khan, amal-e Nanha
likeness of Zu'lfiqar Khan, the work of Nanha
the illumination is signed by Dowlat in the outer gold border framing the painting, lower left.
The inscription identifying Zu'lfiqar Khan is in the handwriting of Shah Jahan.


Height: 15.8 cm painting without any borders, Width: 9.7 cm painting without any borders, Height: 38.9 cm page, Width: 26.7 cm page

Object history note

From the Minto album

Historical context note

Formerly owned by Lord Minto who consigned it to auction in 1925; it is not known which Lord Minto originally acquired it.

Descriptive line

Painting, portrait of Zu'lfiqar Khan, by Nanha, opaque watercolour on paper, Mughal, 1605-1627; borders later

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor. The art of the book 1560-1650, V&A Publications, 2002, pl. 110, p. 144.

Production Note

Mughal empire; the borders are later than the painting


Opaque watercolour; Gold; Paper



Subjects depicted



Paintings; Portraits; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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