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A PORTRAIT OF AURANGZEB

A PORTRAIT OF AURANGZEB

Item Description:



Mughal, India, c. 1675

Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold

Image 3 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (9.5 x 6.8 cm.)
Folio 11 5/8 x 7 1/8 in. (29.5 x 18 cm.)

The A.C. Ardeshir Collection

Aurangzeb facing to the left is dressed in a white jama decorated with a golden floral motif; a pale golden nimbus surrounds his head. He wears a green and golden turban, set with a large ruby and pearl sarpech. He is further adorned with a double string of pearls and a large ruby and pearl pendant. This bust portrait of Aurangzeb, the third son of the emperor Shah Jahan, is depicted in court dress as though appearing ceremonially at a palace jharokha window. Aurangzeb’s hair and beard are flecked with gray suggesting that the artist intended to depict him in middle age. Furthermore, the appearance of the nimbus would suggest that the painting depicts Aurangzeb after 1658, once he had deposed his father and claimed the Empire for himself.


‘During his lifetime, Aurangzeb was often represented in one of two ways: either as a warrior for Islam or as a devout Muslim ruler reading a Qu'ran. As compared to the lavish paintings of Shah Jahan's period, the artistic style radically changed. Artists tended to paint simple individual portrait studies. The paintings were often painted in the nim-qalam (tinted drawing) technique with hints of colour and gold... Contributing factors may have included Aurangzeb’s curtailing of state expenditure, banning histories in praise of the emperor, forbidding music and dancing for pleasure at the court, and increased religiosity.’ (Malini Roy, Austere Portraits of Aurangzeb, Asian and African Studies blog, British Library) For a portrait of Aurangzeb in his old age see lot 115.

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Listed price: $300,000.00
 

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A PORTRAIT OF AURANGZEB

Listed price: $300,000.00
 

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