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  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    mid to late 17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gift of Mr. John Goelet

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

The painting, in opaque watercolour on paper, is a portrait of an old man facing right with both hands held out in a gesture of supplication as his gaze is raised heavenwards. He cradles a long thin staff against the crook of his right arm and carries a small dark book thrust into a green scarf tied round his waist. A pale green ovate leaf hangs from the book. He has a long white beard and wears a rounded white turban. He is dressed in a white long-sleeved robe with coupled narrow stripes in pink, which is buttoned down the centre to the waist over a white under garment with sleeves which protrude from under the outer robe. He wears yellow trousers with narrow red stripes and red slippers. Over his left shoulder is slung an olive-green shawl with a narrow decorated margin. The figure is depicted with his back bent slightly. His face and hands are very delicately modelled with shading in barely perceptible hatching and his facial profile is emphasised with a dark line. The skirt of his robe swings outwards slightly at the back.
The figure stands in a landscape with a variety of small plants growing at his feet behind which a narrow band of blue landscape leads visually back to a low horizon against a blue sky which rises to the top, where it is streaked with faint strokes of gold and pink under a narrow band of darker blue.
The painting is framed with a double border: the inner one being of a pale brown and the outer one is dark blue, both of which are decorated with floral and foliated scrolling patterns in gold. The frames are outlined in white and black with a gold line all within a pale-blue outer outline main border is decorated with alternate pink lilies and red poppies picked out in gold. The edges of the page have strips of pale brown paper stuck on them with white and black outlines. The mounting of this painting matches that on the opposite page, IS.48:12/A-1956.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)


mid to late 17th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour on paper


Height: 12.7 cm central painting, Width: 8 cm central painting, Height: 35.3 cm page, Width: 23.5 cm page

Object history note

This miniature painting is part of the Small Clive Album of Indian miniatures which is thought to have been given by Shuja ud-Daula, the Nawab of Avadh, to Lord Clive during his last visit to India in 1765-67. It contains 62 leaves on which are Mughal miniature paintings, drawing and flower studies on both sides. The binding is covered with an Indian brocade silk that may have been cut from lengths brought home by the 2nd Lord Clive, who served as Governor of Madras, 1799 to 1803. The album was sold from Powis Castle at Sotheby's sale, 16 to 18 January 1956, lot 332A.

Descriptive line

Painting, Small Clive Album p. 22, elderly man praying, opaque watercolour on paper, Mughal, mid to late 17th century


Opaque watercolour; Paint; Paper




Paintings; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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