Nur Jahan Holding a Portrait of Emperor Jahangir

Nur Jahan Holding a Portrait of Emperor Jahangir

c. 1627

Bishandas

(Indian)

Gum tempera and gold on paper

Painting only: 13.6 x 6.4 cm (5 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.); Page: 30 x 22.1 cm (11 13/16 x 8 11/16 in.)

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 2013.325

Location

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Jahangir died at 58, outliving his younger brothers by about 25 years.

Description

The empress Nur Jahan, Jahangir’s favorite wife, exercised influence in affairs of state. By all accounts, including those of Jahangir himself and European visitors to the Mughal court, she was a remarkable and brilliantly capable woman. This painting may have been made shortly after the death of Jahangir. He appears aged in his portrait, and it echoes a similar composition from another painting in which Jahangir holds a painted portrait of his deceased father, Akbar.

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