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Portrait

This portrait of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (r. 1658-1707) demonstrates the importance of the assembling of albums to imperial legitimacy. Historians have often ascribed to Aurangzeb a reputation of philistinism and withdrawing patronage from the Mughal art workshops. However, it is clear from this portrait, taken from an album with ornate gold borders, that Aurangzeb placed a great deal of value on his careful portrayal by workshop artists to enhance his status and image as emperor.

Mughal India, circa 1660
Ink, opaque watercolour, and gold on paper
MIA.2014.325

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