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Portrait

This portrait is an excellent example of the naturalistic and lyrical style of a well-known Mughal court artist, Balchand, who worked under Akbar (r. 1556-1605), Jahangir (r. 1605-1627), and Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658) and painted the portraits of several Mughal rulers and courtiers as well. This portrait of Jahangir shows the artist’s sensitive depiction of the individual features of the ruler’s face, and Balchand also uses the composition to express the ruler’s power, with the ruler located centrally, subduing a lion with one hand and conversing with (or perhaps ordering or instructing) a courtier at the same time.

Artist: Balchand
Mughal India, early 17th century
Ink and opaque watercolour on paper
MS.771.2011

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