Private Collection, USA
A nobleman dressed in Mughal 18th century costume is seated on a European-style chair with carved back. Two attendants stand behind him, dressed in the long robes and small turbans of the Deccan around 1800, one of whom waves a morchhal. The nobleman has a long sword in his folded hands, its point resting on the floral carpet underneath. The scene is set on a terrace with a dark blue parapet and light blue sky beyond. Above is a red canopy meant to cover the nobleman, but Indian artists rarely paid attention to the positioning of the poles supporting such devices.
Such simplistic portraits of both contemporary and previous emperors, princes and noblemen were produced in some quantities in Hyderabad in the early 19th century. For a somewhat similar portrait of a Mughal nobleman standing on a terrace, see Sharma 1974, no. 22, fig. 21, and for a portrait of the contemporary minister Aristu Jah seated on a similar carpet, see Bautze 1987, no. 31.
Bautze, J., Indian Miniature Paintings, c. 1590-c.1850, Galerie Saundarya Lahari, Amsterdam, 1987
Falk, T., and Archer, M., Indian Miniatures in the India Office Library, Sotheby Parke Bernet, London, 1981
Sharma, O.P., Indian Miniature Painting: Exhibition Compiled from the Collection of the National Museum, New Delhi, Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels, 1974
EXPERT : J. P. Losty
J. P. Losty was for many years curator of Indian visual materials in the British Library in London and has published many books and articles on painting in India from the 12th to the 19th centuries.
Artiana would like to thank J. P. Losty for his expertise and assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.