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Attributed to Kashmiri Painter

Shah-Jahan visits the shrine of Khwaja Mu'inuddin Chishti at Ajmer (November 1654) 1656-57

35.1 x 22.5 cm (image) | RCIN 1005025.ap

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  • f.205b: Shah-Jahan visits shrine (plate 41) Mughal emperors had long patronised this shrine. Shah-Jahan first stopped there in 1627 on his way to Agra to claim the throne after the death of his father Jahangir. This illustration is placed alongside text describing an imperial visit to Ajmer in 1636 on the Emperor's return from Daulatabad, when he would have been forty-five years old. His elderly appearance must refer instead to his visit in 1654 with his son Prince Dara-Shikoh, the heir apparent. The Emperor is shown magnificently haloed by shimmering gold, meeting an apparition of the mythological Sufi holy man, Khizr, who presents him with a globe, the symbol of universal kingship. (This pictorial allegory is also seen in the darbar scene recording the reception of the future Emperor Shah-Jahan by his father Jahangir, at Ajmer in 1616). From the reaction of the horses closest to the apparition, evident in the flattening of their ears, they are frightened of the figure who has appeared before them. Khizr is symbolic of fertility and immortality and is associated with life-giving waters. He is shown wearing green, the colour of new plant life, and stands within a river-bed. Although Ajmer is set among hills, the depiction of the city and landscape is far from accurate. The countryside depicted allows the eye to feast on a myriad of tiny toy-like figures engaged in activities of daily life.
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  • Measurements

    35.1 x 22.5 cm (image)

    58.3 x 36.7 cm (page dimensions)

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