Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah (1614-74) on Horseback

Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah (1614-74) on Horseback

c. 1635

Ink, watercolor, and gold on paper, mounted with gold-sprinkled borders

Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection 2013.287

Location

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Specks of gold are sprinkled around the edges of this portrait.

Description

Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah came to the throne of Golconda at the age of twelve and ruled until 1635 when the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan invaded the Deccan. Although Sultan Abdullah Qutb Shah kept his position, he did so under conditions named by Shah Jahan that included the payment of tribute money, conversion to Sunni Islam, and the presence of a Mughal political agent at the Golconda court.

In this watercolor portrait, executed with subdued colors that complement the gold accents, the young Sultan wears a diaphanous shawl over his richly embroidered robe. His horse is almost as lavishly dressed in decorative trappings and jewels as his rider.

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