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Payag (fl.1595-1655)

Jahangir presents Prince Khurram with a turban ornament (12 October 1617) 1656-57

RCIN 1005025.an

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  • f.195a: Jahangir presents Prince Khurram with turban ornament (plate 39) This scene shows one of two occasions in 1617. In October 1617 Prince Khurram, having returned victorious from the Deccan, was awarded the title Shah-Jahan (King of the World) by his father. A month later he was presented with an important family jewel. Jahangir recalls the latter event in his own memoirs: 'On this day I gave my son Shah-Jahan a flawless ruby...[Emperor Akbar's] mother gave me as a present at my birth. For years it was in his [Emperor Akbar's] turban band and thereafter I too kept it in my turban band for good luck...since it has been a good luck charm for this eternal dynasty, it was given to my son.' The two most influential members of the court stand below the jharoka: to the left I'timaduddawla, the Prime Minister, and to the right his son Asaf Khan, Shah-Jahan's father-in-law. Between them is a grisaille wall painting, its imagery symbolic of the just rule of the Mughal empire - the lion and the ox lying side by side beneath the globe. This imagery derived from Christian art and in this instance can be traced to the Polyglot Bible printed between 1568 and 1572 and brought to India by the first Jesuit missionaries in 1580. The artist Payag can be seen at the bottom left-hand corner carrying a book.
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