Muhammad Ali Beg thumbnail 1
Muhammad Ali Beg thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Muhammad Ali Beg

Painting
ca. 1631 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Muhammad ‘Ali Beg was the ambassador sent to the Mughal court by Shah Abbas of Iran, arriving in time for the New Year festival in March 1631. He remained there until October 1632, during which time his portrait was painted by the royal artist, Hashim. The painting is inscribed in Persian ‘likeness of Muhammad Ali Beg, ambassador, the work of Hashim’, possibly by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It was later mounted on a page with margins decorated with flowering plants and insects for inclusion in an album for the emperor.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Brief Description
Painting, portrait of Muhammad Ali Beg, by Hashim, opaque watercolour on paper, Mughal, ca. 1631
Physical Description
Painting, opaque watercolour on paper, a portrait of Muhammad Ali Beg, Iranian ambassador to the Mughal court, on a green background; the border is decorated with flowers and insects.
Dimensions
  • Page height: 38.7cm
  • Page width: 26.4cm
  • Picture without borders and rules height: 23.9cm
  • Picture minus border and rules width: 17cm
Content description
A portrait of Muhammad Ali Beg, Iranian ambassador to the Mughal court, on a green background; the border is decorated with flowers and insects.
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
(Maker's identification; Persian; located to the left of the figure)
Gallery Label
MUHAMMAD ALI BEG Opaque watercolour and gold on paper Mughal, by Hashem c. 1631 IM.25-1925 From the Minto Album This portrait is inscribed in Persian, the language of the Mughal empire, ‘Likeness of Muhammad Ali Beg ambassador, the work of Hashem’. Muhammad Ali Beg was sent by Shah Abbas of Iran to the Mughal court and arrived in 1631. Hashem depicts his distinctively Iranian dress, particularly his turban jewels, with careful attention to detail.(27/9/2013)
Object history
The folio is from a group of paintings acquired at auction in 1925 where they were sold as "The Minto Album" and subsequently divided between the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin and the V&A.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Muhammad ‘Ali Beg was the ambassador sent to the Mughal court by Shah Abbas of Iran, arriving in time for the New Year festival in March 1631. He remained there until October 1632, during which time his portrait was painted by the royal artist, Hashim. The painting is inscribed in Persian ‘likeness of Muhammad Ali Beg, ambassador, the work of Hashim’, possibly by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It was later mounted on a page with margins decorated with flowering plants and insects for inclusion in an album for the emperor.
Bibliographic References
  • Swallow, Deborah and John Guy eds. Arts of India: 1550-1900. text by Rosemary Crill, John Guy, Veronica Murphy, Susan Stronge and Deborah Swallow. London : V&A Publications, 1990. 240 p., ill. ISBN 1851770224, p.92/3, no.69.
  • STRONGE, Susan. Painting for the Mughal Emperor: The Art of the Book 1560 – 1660 London : V&A Publications, 2002. 192p, ill. ISBN 1 85177 358 4.p. 164, ol. 127
  • Gifts of the Sultan. The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2011 Number: 978-0-300-17110-5cat. no. 177, fig. 177, p. 274
Collection
Accession Number
IM.25-1925

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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