Ali Quli Khan  thumbnail 1
Ali Quli Khan  thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Ali Quli Khan

Painting
ca. 1590-95 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This painting and IS.2:13-1896 together form a complete composition across two pages. They illustrate an episode described in the Akbarnama, the history of the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605). The composition was designed by the court artist Kanha, with a second artist, Khiman Sangtarash, being responsible for the painting. The scene depicts the victory of Khan Zaman (Ali Quli Khan) over the Afghans on the banks of the river Jumna in 1561.

The Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) was commissioned by the emperor 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 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, this manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r. 1605-27) and later Shah Jahan (r. 1628-58). 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 of Oudh province between 1858 and 1862. It is thought to be the earliest illustrated copy of the Akbarnama and 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 third volume of the Akbarnama, the A'in-i-Akbari. The inscriptions in red ink on the bottom of the paintings name the artists.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Brief Description
Painting, Akbarnama, victory of Khan Zaman (Ali Quli Khan), outline by Kanha, painting by Kahmin the Sculptor, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, ca. 1590-95
Physical Description
Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, left half of a double page composition, the right half being IS.2:13-1896. Depicts the victory of Ali Quli Khan over the Afghans on the banks of the river Gomti. The image is overlaid by a caption of text (1 line) in the top left corner.
Dimensions
  • Height: 33cm
  • Average width: 20cm
Folio size: 38.1cm x 22.4cm.
Content description
The victory of Ali Quli Khan over the Afghans on the banks of the river Gomti.
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 Kanha; painted by Khiman Sangtarash.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Association
Literary ReferenceAkbarnama
Summary
This painting and IS.2:13-1896 together form a complete composition across two pages. They illustrate an episode described in the Akbarnama, the history of the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605). The composition was designed by the court artist Kanha, with a second artist, Khiman Sangtarash, being responsible for the painting. The scene depicts the victory of Khan Zaman (Ali Quli Khan) over the Afghans on the banks of the river Jumna in 1561.



The Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) was commissioned by the emperor 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 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, this manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r. 1605-27) and later Shah Jahan (r. 1628-58). 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 of Oudh province between 1858 and 1862. It is thought to be the earliest illustrated copy of the Akbarnama and 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 third volume of the Akbarnama, the A'in-i-Akbari. The inscriptions in red ink on the bottom of the paintings name the artists.
Associated Object
IS.2:13-1896 (Object)
Other Number
92 - Inscription/original number
Collection
Accession Number
IS.2:12-1896

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record createdOctober 8, 1998
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