Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D

The Kuzzelbash of Kabul

Watercolour
1836 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Murtaza Khan, the head of a family of the Qizilbash tribe, met Vigne near Ghazni and accompanied him to Kabul. His tough, swarthy features make a striking contrast with the pale skin and meek demeanour of his young and beautiful bride. [See her portrait, SD.1117.] The pair of drawings are two of a large group of Persian, Afghan and Indian portraits and landscapes (now mainly in the Searight Collection, the India Office Library and the Royal Geographical Society) that were done by Vigne during his long journey, between 1832 and 1839, through Turkey and Persia to India, and thence northwards to the Western Himalayas and later Afghanistan. Vigne published an account of his Afghanistan trip in A Personal Narrative of a Visit to Ghuzni, Kabul, and Afghanistan (1840). A further visit made by Vigne to the Near East in 1843-44 is also represented by drawings in the Searight Collection.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil, pen and ink, and watercolour
Brief Description
Watercolour, `The Kuzzelbash of Kabul', 1836, by Godfrey Thomas Vigne FRGS
Physical Description
Watercolour drawing
Dimensions
  • Height: 20.7cm
  • Width: 16cm
Styles
Marks and Inscriptions
Inscribed with title and number 23, and Mortazeh Khan Kuzzelbash Servant of Nawab Jubar Khan aged 60. Cabul and date 16th. July 1839 (Although the watercolour was painted in 1836, a later date of 1839 has been inscribed on the back.)
Credit line
Purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, Shell International and the Friends of the V&A
Object history
According to Rodney Searight: - `acquired from Henry D'Olier Vigne, great-nephew of the artist, May 1971, £200'. [with SD.1087- SD.1100, SD.1103 & 1104: SD.1105-1117, SD.1119-SD.1125, SD.1127-1130, SD.1132-1134, SD.1137-1138, SD.1150, SD.1153]
Historical context
Head of a Kuzzelbash (Kizilbash) family who met Vigne near Ghazni and accompanied him to Kabul: see Vigne, A Personal Narrative of a Visit to Ghuzni, Kabul, And Afghanistan ..., 1840, p.116-7. On the `Kuzzelbash' tribe, see pp.167-8.

Cf. sketches in album in India Office Library and Records (WD.3110 f.39f, 40a-d).
Subjects depicted
Places Depicted
Summary
Murtaza Khan, the head of a family of the Qizilbash tribe, met Vigne near Ghazni and accompanied him to Kabul. His tough, swarthy features make a striking contrast with the pale skin and meek demeanour of his young and beautiful bride. [See her portrait, SD.1117.] The pair of drawings are two of a large group of Persian, Afghan and Indian portraits and landscapes (now mainly in the Searight Collection, the India Office Library and the Royal Geographical Society) that were done by Vigne during his long journey, between 1832 and 1839, through Turkey and Persia to India, and thence northwards to the Western Himalayas and later Afghanistan. Vigne published an account of his Afghanistan trip in A Personal Narrative of a Visit to Ghuzni, Kabul, and Afghanistan (1840). A further visit made by Vigne to the Near East in 1843-44 is also represented by drawings in the Searight Collection.
Collection
Accession Number
SD.1118

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record createdApril 21, 2008
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