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Painting - Miriam Makani

Miriam Makani

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1586 - ca. 1589 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Tulsi (outline, maker)
    Durga (painting, maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.2:4-1896

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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This painting from the official history of Akbar's reign depicts his mother, Mariam Makani, travelling to Agra by river. It is related to IS.2:3-1896 which shows several boats including that of the emperor, and was painted by Tulsi and Durga.
The Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) was commissioned by the emperor Akbar as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written by his court historian and biographer Abu'l Fazl between 1590 and 1596 and is thought to have been illustrated between c. 1592 and 1594 by at least forty-nine different artists from Akbar's studio. After Akbar's death in 1605, the manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) and later Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658). The Victoria and Albert Museum purchased it in 1896 from Mrs. Frances Clarke, the widow of Major General Clarke, an official who had been the Commissioner in Oudh province between 1858 and 1862.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, depicting Akbar's mother, Mariam Makani, travelling by river boat, as part of an imperial procession to Agra. The image is overlaid by a single caption of Persian text (two lines), extending from the right-hand side of the page.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)

Date

ca. 1586 - ca. 1589 (made)

Artist/maker

Tulsi (outline, maker)
Durga (painting, maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Composition by Tulsi/Work [= painting] by Durga.'

Dimensions

Height: 33 cm, Width: 20 cm

Object history note

The Akbarnama was commissioned by the emperor Akbar as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written by his court historian and biographer Abu'l Fazl between 1590 and 1596 and is thought to have been illustrated between c. 1592 and 1594 by at least forty-nine different artists from Akbar's studio. After Akbar's death in 1605, the manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) and later Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658). The Victoria and Albert Museum purchased it in 1896 from Mrs. Frances Clarke, the widow of Major General John Clarke, an official who had been the Commissioner of Oudh, India, between 1858 and 1862.

Historical significance: It is thought to be the first illustrated copy of the Akbarnama. It drew upon the expertise of some of the best royal painters of the time, many of whom receive special mention by Abu'l Fazl in the A'in-i-Akbari. The inscriptions in red ink on the bottom of the paintings name the artists.

Descriptive line

Painting, Akbarnama, Akbar's mother Miriam Makani on boat, outline by Tulsi the Elder, painting by Durga, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, ca. 1586-1589

Production Note

Outline picture composed by Tulsi, colours and details supplied by Durga.

Materials

Paper; Paint; Gold; Opaque watercolour

Techniques

Drawing; Painted

Subjects depicted

Travel; River; Boat; Agra; Procession

Categories

Illustration; Paintings

Collection code

SSEA

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Qr_O9283
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