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Not currently on display at the V&A

Painting

1556-1605 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Europeans first came to the Mughal empire in the late 1570s. By the early 1600s, there was regular contact between the Mughal court and Portuguese Goa, and merchants and adventurers came overland or by sea from Europe. A few of them took up residence at court. Their presence led to the occasional appearance of European figures in Mughal paintings or on the border decoration of manuscripts.

This painting, which on stylistic grounds dates to about 1610, is unlikely to be a contemporary portrait of a 17th-century European visitor to the Mughal court, however. Details of his dress (the pinked boots and the open-fronted ruff) are seen in European portraits of the 1580s, while the hilt of the rapier may date from as early as the 1560s, suggesting that the Mughal artist used a painting as his model.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Brief Description
Painting, portrait of a European, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, 1556-1605 (Akbar period)
Physical Description
Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, of a European standing in an Indian landscape. He is bearded and wears a black velvet hat, red velvet doublet over a shirt with open-fronted white ruff, and baggy orange trousers tucked into his soft leather boots. He has a green cloak draped over one shoulder, and rests his right hand on a straight-bladed sword.
Dimensions
  • Height: 29.5cm
  • Width: 18.3cm
Content description
A European standing in an Indian landscape. He is bearded and wears a black velvet hat, red velvet doublet over a shirt with open-fronted white ruff, and baggy orange trousers tucked into his soft leather boots. He has a green cloak draped over one shoulder, and rests his right hand on a straight-bladed sword.
Style
Object history
The painting was bought by the museum from the renowned dealer Mr Imre Schwaiger in 1914.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Europeans first came to the Mughal empire in the late 1570s. By the early 1600s, there was regular contact between the Mughal court and Portuguese Goa, and merchants and adventurers came overland or by sea from Europe. A few of them took up residence at court. Their presence led to the occasional appearance of European figures in Mughal paintings or on the border decoration of manuscripts.



This painting, which on stylistic grounds dates to about 1610, is unlikely to be a contemporary portrait of a 17th-century European visitor to the Mughal court, however. Details of his dress (the pinked boots and the open-fronted ruff) are seen in European portraits of the 1580s, while the hilt of the rapier may date from as early as the 1560s, suggesting that the Mughal artist used a painting as his model.
Associated Object
Bibliographic References
  • Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor. The Art of the Book 1560-1650, V&A Publications, 2002, pl. 105, p. 139; Guy, J., and Swallow, D., (eds). ‘Arts of India: 1550-1900’. London : Victoria and Albert Museum, 1990. ISBN 1851770224, p.153, pl.131.
  • Susan Stronge, in Jay A. Levenson, ed., Encompassing the Globe. Portugal and the World in the 16th & 17th Centuries, Reference Catalogue, cat. 1.8, p. 111.
  • Swallow, D., Stronge, S., Crill, R., Koezuka, T., editor and translator, "The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts", Victoria & Albert Museum and NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993.p. 36, cat. no. 10
  • Irwin, John C., Indian Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1968pl. 32
Collection
Accession Number
IM.386-1914

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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