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Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1590 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bishndas (maker)
    Nanha (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Museum number:

    IM.276-1913

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Download image

This painting from the Baburnama, or history of Babur, is the right half of a double-page composition (the left-hand page is Museum no. IM.276A-1913). It depictsthe Mughal emperor Babur (1483–1530) superintending the laying-out of the Garden of Fidelity at Kabul in the northern reaches of the Mughal empire, now in Afghanistan. Originally a Timurid prince in central Asia, Babur seized Kabul in 1504 and used it as a base for campaigns into Hindustan, where he founded the Mughal dynasty. The Garden of Fidelity (Bagh-e Vafa) was the first of many gardens he created. Situated to the south of Kabul, it was divided into quarters, fringed with orange and pomegranate trees and surrounded by a wall. The image shows the red sandstone wall and gateway of the garden, outside which the emperor’s horse and retinue are waiting.

Babur’s grandson, Akbar, had at least five copies of his grandfather’s memoirs, the Baburnama, made by the royal studios.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour on paper, Baburnama illustration, Babur supervising laying out of a Kabul garden, by Bishndas. Babur is depicted on the right, facing left, in a yellow short-sleeved coat over a red jama and wearing white turban gesturing towards the gardeners. A servant holds a white sash, an emblem of royalty, above the emperor's shoulder. A man with a squared red board stands between the emperor and a square enclosure for the water course that divides the garden in four. Gardeners stand poised for action; a man holds a string along the watercourse that is held at the other end in the other side of the composition (IM.276A-1913). The garden is enclosed by a red brick wall and filled with pomegranate and other trees, and flowering plants.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)

Date

ca. 1590 (painted)

Artist/maker

Bishndas (maker)
Nanha (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

Marks and inscriptions

amal-e Bishndas chehreh mami nanha work [=painting] [by] Bishndas; portraits [by] Nanha.

Dimensions

Height: 21.7 cm painting only, Width: 14.3 cm painting only, Height: 26.5 cm page, Width: 16.8 cm page

Descriptive line

Painting, Baburnama illustration, Babur supervising the laying out of a Kabul garden, by Bishndas, opaque watercolour on paper, Mughal, ca. 1590

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

Swallow, Deborah and John Guy eds. Arts of India: 1550-1900. text by Rosemary Crill, John Guy, Veronica Murphy, Susan Stronge and Deborah Swallow. London : V&A Publications, 1990. 240 p., ill. ISBN 1851770224 p. 60/61, no.41. Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal emperor. The Art of the Book in India 1560-1650, V&A Publications, 2002, pl. 59 p. 91
The Indian Heritage. Court Life and Arts under Mughal Rule, London 1982, cat. 24 pp. 32-33 [Andrew Topsfield].

Exhibition History

The Indian Heritage: Court Life and Arts under Mughal Rule (01/01/1982-31/12/1982)

Materials

Paper; Paint; Opaque watercolour

Techniques

Painted

Subjects depicted

Birds; Gardens; Garden; Pomegranates; Babur; Gardening

Categories

Paintings; Gardens & Gardening

Collection code

SSEA

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Qr_O17687
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