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Maharana of Mewar and Prince Khurram

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1615-18 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Nanha (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.185-1984

  • Gallery location:

    South Asia, Room 41, case L

This scene, probably done between about 1615 and 1618, depicts the submission of the ruler of Mewar in Rajasthan to Shah Jahan, the son of the reigning Mughal emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). The ruler, Rana Amar Singh, had long held out against the Mughal forces but after a lengthy campaign directed by Shah Jahan was forced to surrender in 1615. The artist, Nanha, has included himself kneeling at the right of the scene, sketching a portrait of the Rana. The picture was made to illustrate the Jahangirnama ("Book of Jahangir"), the memoirs written in Persian by Jahangir, as indicated by the catchword isolated against the white muslin jama of the man depicted in the bottom left hand corner, which would be repeated as the first word of the following page. Although Jahangir intended to have various illustrated copies made of his book, none are known to survive.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Prince Khurram is at the centre of the composition, kneeling on a rectangular throne beneath a red and yellow canopy within an enclosure of red qanats (channels). The bare-footed Rana bows submissively before the prince, touching his knees as Mughal and Mewar nobles watch. Facing the Rana, kneeling on the ground to the right, the artist Nanha may be seen. In the foreground, outside the qanats, are four musicians on the left and an elephant with his rider on the right. Mountains fill the background, with a strip of blue sky above. This event took place at the Mughal encampment of Gogunda in Rajasthan. Within a tented enclosure, Khurram kneels on a golden throne. Most of the assembled Mughal and Rajasthani courtiers are identified by minute Persian inscriptions.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)

Date

ca. 1615-18 (made)

Artist/maker

Nanha (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Most of the assembled Mughal and Rajasthani courtiers are identified by minute Persian inscriptions.

Dimensions

Height: 31.3 cm, Width: 20.1 cm

Object history note

A drawing of the same scene is in the Chester Beatty Library: published in colour in Elaine Wright, Muraqqa', Art Services International, 2008, cat. 25, pp. 260-1 and dated to ca. 1620-8. A later version (ca. 1640) was made for inclusion in the Padshahnama, now in Windsor Castle: see Elaine Wright, Muraqqa', p. 263 for illustration.

The event is described by Jahangir in the Jahangirnama, or Tuzuk-i Jahangiri. He recorded that it had taken place on Sunday, 26th of the month of Bahman (the 11th month of the Ilahi Calendar), in the 9th regnal year of the emperor's accession to the throne. The 9th regnal year started on 21st March 1614. The date of 26th of Bahman, 9th regnal year, corresponds to 22nd of February 1615.

Descriptive line

Painting, submission of Rana Amar Singh to Shah Jahan in 1615, by Nanha, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, ca. 1618

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, pp.78/9, no.53.
Plate 48, page 64.
Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor. The art of the book 1560-1650, V&A Publications, London 2002, plates 89 and 90 (detail depicting Nanha), pp. 124-125.
pps. 132-133, pls. 96 and 97
Stronge, S. Made for Mughal Emperors. Royal Treasures from Hindustan. London and New York, 2010
Jackson, Anna and Jaffer, Amin (eds), with Deepika Ahlawat. Maharaja : the splendour of India's royal courts. London, V&A Publishing, 2009. ISBN.9781851775736 (hbk.), ISBN.1851775730 (hbk.).
p. 77, cat. no.60
Swallow, D., Stronge, S., Crill, R., Koezuka, T., editor and translator, "The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts", Victoria & Albert Museum and NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993.

Materials

Opaque watercolour; Gold; Paper; Paint

Techniques

Painted

Subjects depicted

Subject; Ruler; Ceremonies, Submissions; Throne; Canopy

Categories

Illustration; Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project; Animals and Wildlife

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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