Baz Bahadur

Painting
ca. 1590-95 (made)
Baz Bahadur  thumbnail 1
Baz Bahadur  thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This illustration from the Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) depicts the flight of Baz Bahadur, ruler of Malwa in north central India, after his defeat by the Mughals under Adham Khan in 1561. His wife, Rupmati, and her female companions may also been seen on the terrace of the fort. The artist responsible for the composition was the court artist Jagan, with Banwali Kalan completing the painted details.

The Akbarnama was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605) as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written in Persian by his court historian and biographer, Abu’l Fazl, between 1590 and 1596, and the V&A’s partial copy of the manuscript is thought to have been illustrated between about 1592 and 1595. This is thought to be the earliest illustrated version of the text, and drew upon the expertise of some of the best royal artists of the time. Many of these are listed by Abu’l Fazl in the third volume of the text, the A’in-i Akbari, and some of these names appear in the V&A illustrations, written in red ink beneath the pictures, showing that this was a royal copy made for Akbar himself. After his death, the manuscript remained in the library of his son Jahangir, from whom it was inherited by Shah Jahan.

The V&A purchased the manuscript in 1896 from Frances Clarke, the widow of Major General John Clarke, who bought it in India while serving as Commissioner of Oudh between 1858 and 1862.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Brief Description
Painting, Akbarnama, flight of Baz Bahadur, outline by Jagan, painting by Banwali the Elder, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, ca. 1590-95
Physical Description
Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, the flight of Baz Bahadur, Governor of Malwa, when defeated by the imperial troops led by Adham Khan in 1561. Rupmati and her ladies are depicted in the castle.
Dimensions
  • Height: 33cm
  • Average width: 20cm
Content description
The flight of Baz Bahadur, Governor of Malwa, when defeated by the imperial troops led by Adham Khan in 1561. Rupmati and her ladies are depicted in the castle.
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
(Contemporary librarian's attributions in Persian, in red ink in the margin below the painting)
Object history
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 about 1592 and 1594 by at least 49 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, who bought it in India while serving as Commissioner of Oudh 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.
Production
Composition by Jagan; painted by Banwali Kalan.
Subjects depicted
Association
Literary ReferenceAkbarnama
Summary
This illustration from the Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) depicts the flight of Baz Bahadur, ruler of Malwa in north central India, after his defeat by the Mughals under Adham Khan in 1561. His wife, Rupmati, and her female companions may also been seen on the terrace of the fort. The artist responsible for the composition was the court artist Jagan, with Banwali Kalan completing the painted details.



The Akbarnama was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605) as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written in Persian by his court historian and biographer, Abu’l Fazl, between 1590 and 1596, and the V&A’s partial copy of the manuscript is thought to have been illustrated between about 1592 and 1595. This is thought to be the earliest illustrated version of the text, and drew upon the expertise of some of the best royal artists of the time. Many of these are listed by Abu’l Fazl in the third volume of the text, the A’in-i Akbari, and some of these names appear in the V&A illustrations, written in red ink beneath the pictures, showing that this was a royal copy made for Akbar himself. After his death, the manuscript remained in the library of his son Jahangir, from whom it was inherited by Shah Jahan.



The V&A purchased the manuscript in 1896 from Frances Clarke, the widow of Major General John Clarke, who bought it in India while serving as Commissioner of Oudh between 1858 and 1862.
Associated Object
Other Number
91 - Inscription/original number
Collection
Accession Number
IS.2:11-1896

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record createdOctober 8, 1998
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