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Mohan (active c.1600)

Portrait of Emperor Humayun c. 1603

13.65 x 7.0 cm (image) | RCIN 1005038.f

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  • f. 6 from a Mughal Album of portraits

    Portrait of Emperor Humayun, 1603

    A portrait of the second Mughal emperor kneeling on a namda carpet reading a verse from the Bustan of Sadi.

    دو بیتم جگر کرد روزی کباب / که می‌گفت گوینده‌ای با رباب
    دریغا که بی ما بسی روزگار / بروید گل و بشکفد نوبهار

    An inscription on the side of the carpet ascribes the painting to the  Mughal artist Mohan in the year 1603. Rather than the typical Humayuni turban worn by the emperor post-1544, he wears a tall Mongol cap would with a turban cloth. This suggests Mohan's portrait is based on a earlier painting. The style and composition is reminiscent of the work of Mir Sayyid Ali, an Iranian artist in Humayun's service. Lying on the floor are an open penbox, manuscript, portfolio and an astrolabe, hinting towards the emperor's keen interest in astronomy.

    The inscription on the rug reads: 'A likeness of His Highness the warrior Emperor Humayun / the regnal year 47 corresponding to the year 1011 Hijri / work of the artist Mohan.' 


    Verses by Jami written by Abd al-Rahim anbarin qalam ('amber pen'):

    هو الرحیم

    ماییم براه عشق پویان همه عمر/ وصل تو بجد و جهد جویان همه عمر
    یک چشم زدن خیال تو پیش نظر / بهتر ز جمال خوبرویان همه عمر

    رفت آنكه به قبله بتان رو آرم / حرف غمشان بلوح دل بنگارم
    آهنگ جمال جاودانیدارم / حسني كه نه جاودان از آن بيزارم

    For further information on this album see RCIN 1005038.


    From an album thought to have been presented to George IV by the Nawab of Awadh c. 1828.

  • Measurements

    13.65 x 7.0 cm (image)

  • Place of Production

    Allahabad [Uttar Pradesh]