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Attributed to Kashmiri Painter

Shah-Jahan receives the Persian ambassador, Muhammad-Ali Beg (26 March 1631) 1656-57

RCIN 1005025.r

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  • f.98b: Shah-Jahan receives the Persian ambassador (plate 17) An embassy from the Shah of Persia, the closest and most powerful of Shah-Jahan's rivals, was received during the Nawraz (Persian New Year) celebrations in March 1631. Shah-Jahan's court was based at Burhanpur (Deccan) at this time. The arrival of the embassy was the occasion for great celebration and the exchange of gifts. The portly ambassador - seen dressed in orange near the bottom left of the painting - remained at court until 23 October 1632 and was depicted as an observer at the weighing of Shah-Jahan on his lunar birthday. The Persian present bearers, recognisable by their distinctive turbans, are shown in a line at the bottom of the composition. The event - and its pictorial record shown here - demonstrated the homage paid by the leaders of the world to the new Emperor. The text records that: 'Afzal Khan and Sadiq Khan, by imperial command, who had gone to greet Muhammad [-Ali] Beg...escorted the ambassador to pay homage to the imperial presence. After performing the rites of etiquette...he presented a letter Shah Safi had written in congratulations for the accession.'
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