A Courtier, Possibly Khan Alam, Holding a Spinel and a Deccan Sword

c. 1605–10

attributed to Govardhan

(Indian, active c.1596–1645)
(Indian, active c. 1590–1630)
Page: 17.8 x 12.5 cm (7 x 4 15/16 in.)
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Location: not on view

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Description

According to Akbar's court historian, the emperor ordered likenesses to be taken of the grandees of his realm. "An immense album was thus formed: those that have passed away have received a new life, and those who are still alive have immortality promised them." Akbar's son and successor, Jahangir (reigned 1605-27), continued the tradition of commissioning works of lifelike portraiture for inclusion in imperial albums. This courtier wears an opulent fur-trimmed, fringed velvet coat over his belted white tunic and striped pants-the typical Mughal dress derived from their roots among the nomadic horse-riding people of Central Asia. The artist has reveled in creating the soft textures of the facial hair, fur and fabrics. He holds a ruby-like gemstone called a spinel, which was prized among the Mughals for its talismanic properties of protection during battle.
A Courtier, Possibly Khan Alam, Holding a Spinel and a Deccan Sword

A Courtier, Possibly Khan Alam, Holding a Spinel and a Deccan Sword

c. 1605–10

Govardhan, Abd al-Rahim, the Anbarin-Qalam

(Indian, active c.1596–1645), (Indian, active c. 1590–1630)
Mughal India

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