Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Khan-i Kilan

  • Object:

    Painting

  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1590-95 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Miskina (maker)
    Sarwan (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Museum number:

    IS.2:88-1896

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This painting from the Akbarnama depicts the wounding of Khan-i Kilan by a Rajput during his march to Gujarat and is by Miskina (whose name is also written as "Miskin" in the Akbarnama) and Sarwan. The incident took place in 1572 as the Mughal army moved west in a major campaign against the sultanate of Gujarat. On the way, envoys of the chief of Sirohi were received by the Mughal general, Khan-i Kalan. As they were about to depart, one of them suddenly lunged forward and stabbed the general. In retaliation, Khan-i Kalan's companions immediately killed the attacker and others who were with him. The incident made Akbar decide to take personal command of a force to crush the rebellion in Sirohi.
The Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) was commissioned by the emperor in 1598 as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written by his court historian and biographer Abu'l Fazl, and was substantially completed by 1596. The illustrations were being painted as the historian drafted and rewrote his text by at least forty-nine different artists from Akbar's ketabkhana, or 'House of Books', where manuscripts were stored as well as created. After Akbar's death in 1605, the incomplete manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r. 1605-1627), who recorded his possession on the flyleaf. 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 in Oudh province between 1858 and 1862.

Physical description

Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, depicts the wounding of Khan Kilan by a Rajput, near Sirohi, during his march to Gujarat in 1573. The image is overlaid by a band of text extending from the lower right hand margin of the painting.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)

Date

ca. 1590-95 (made)

Artist/maker

Miskina (maker)
Sarwan (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Tarh: Miskina/amal: Sarwan'
'composition by Miskina/work [= painting] by Sarwan'
Contemporary librarian's attribution in Persian written beneath the image at the bottom of the page in red ink.

Dimensions

Height: 38.1 cm folio, Width: 22.4 cm folio

Object history note

The Akbarnama was commissioned by the emperor Akbar as an official chronicle of his reign. It was written by his court historian and biographer Abu'l Fazl around 1590, and illustrated during the same decade by at least forty-nine different artists from the royal ketabkhana, or House of Books. After Akbar's death, the manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir. The Victoria and Albert Museum purchased it in 1896 from the widow of major General Clarke, an official who served as the Commissioner in Oudh province.

The V&A text is thought to be part of 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, wounding of Khan Kilan, outline by Miskin, painting by Sarwan, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, ca. 1590-95

Labels and date

THE WOUNDING OF KHAN-I KALAN
Illustration to the Akbarnama
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Mughal, composition
by Miskina, painted by Sarwan
c. 1590-95
IS.2:88-1896
In 1572, Akbar’s general Khan-i Kalan led the Mughal army to attack the western sultanate of Gujarat. On the way, he received the envoys
of a minor ruler who claimed to support Akbar but was secretly plotting rebellion. As the envoys left, one of them stabbed the general. The Mughals immediately killed him and some of his companions. Miskina worked on many of Akbar’s most important illustrated manuscripts. [27/9/2013]

Production Note

Outline picture composed by Miskina, colours and details painted by Sarwan.

Materials

Paper; Opaque watercolour; Paint

Techniques

Painted; Drawing

Categories

ELISE; Paintings; Images Online; Illustration; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.