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Asian Art

Portrait of Emperor Shah Jahan

ca. 1680

Opaque watercolor on paper

6 × 3 1/4 in. (15.2 × 8.3 cm)
Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Bequest of Mrs. William H. Moore
1955.7.32
Individualized portraiture flourished in Mughal India beginning in the seventeenth century, even as more traditional, idealized ways of depicting facial features remained in practice. Here, an aging Shah Jahan is shown with a halo—a symbol of divinely ordained royalty.
Geography: 
India
Culture: 
Indian, Islamic
Period: 
Mughal dynasty (1526–1857)
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

Mrs. William H. Moore (Ada Small Moore) (1858–1955), New York; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1955

Bibliography: 

Francois Valentijn, Oud en nieuw Oost-Indien, vervattende een naaukeurige en uitvoerige verhandelinge van Nederlands mogentheyd in die gewesten, benevens e, Dordrecht, 1724–1726 (Amsterdam: Tweede Uitgave, 1862), fig. 12.

Kishwar Rizvi, “Islamic Art at the Yale University Art Gallery,” Arts of Asia (March–April 2018): 102, fig. 18.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.