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  • Place of origin:

    Mughal Empire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1590 - ca. 1600 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the V&A, 1964

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This painting was probably done for the Mughal emperor Jahangir (r.1605–1627) when he was still a prince living in the 1590s at Lahore, the northern capital of the Mughal empire, now in north-east Pakistan. The Jesuit Father Jerome Xavier, who was in Lahore at the same time, wrote in 1598 that the prince collected European paintings and prints and that he had seen the prince’s artists copying them. One of the images he saw them copying was a Descent from the Cross, a comparatively rare subject in Mughal painting. Although there is no evidence that this painting is precisely that mentioned by Jerome Xavier, it is of the same period. The composition is based on an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi after a lost original by Raphael, and incorporates landscape details from other European sources.

The painting has been detached from a volume, otherwise intact and still at the V&A, known as the ‘Small Clive Album’. It is associated with Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive of Plassey (1725–1774).

Physical description

Painting, on album page, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, a deposition from the cross with rejoicing angels, after a European original.

Place of Origin

Mughal Empire (made)


ca. 1590 - ca. 1600 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper


Height: 23.9 cm, Height: 19.4 cm painting only, Width: 9.5 cm calligraphy, Width: 11.7 cm painting

Object history note

This album of 104 folios known as the Clive Album was formerly the property of the Earl of Powis, Powis Castle. (RP 1959/1747)

Descriptive line

Painting, Large Clive Album, deposition from cross with rejoicing angels, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, ca. 1590-1600

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Robert Skelton, "Two Mughal Lion Hunts", Victoria and Albert Museum Yearbook 1969, fig. 12, p. 44

Ebba Koch, "Jahangir and the Angels", in J. Deppert, ed., India and the West, South Asia Institute, New Delhi, 1983, fig. 14 (detail).

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.70, no.48.

Susan Stronge, ed., The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms, V&A Publications, 1999, cat. 25, p. 212 and pl. 101.
p. 111, pl. 77, p. 212
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. 111, pl. 77
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. 93, pl. 101 and p. 212, cat. 25
Stronge, S. "The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms", V&A, 1999
p. 37, cat. no. 11
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.
pl. 38
Irwin, John C., Indian Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1968

Production Note

After a European original.


Opaque watercolour; Paper; Paint; Gold



Subjects depicted

Men; Skull; Crucifix; Angels; Bones; Dogs


Images Online; Paintings; Christianity; Religion; Bonita Trust Indian Paintings Cataloguing Project


South & South East Asia Collection

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