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The Padshahnama : opening shamsa (sunburst) 1656-57

RCIN 1005025.b

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‘The Shamsa … is a divine light, which God directly transfers to kings, without the assistance of men; and kings are fond of external splendour, because they consider it an image of the Divine glory.’

Abul-Fazl Allami, Ain-i Akbari (1598)

This is the opening page of a royal manuscript written at the Mughal court in the seventeenth century. It is a visual metaphor for the unity, infinity and harmony of the Divine.