Born Arjumand Banu (27 April 1593 – 17 June 1631) was betrothed to Prince Khurram since 1607and ultimately became his second wife at the age of 19 on 30 April 1612. Prince Khurram, who was later known by his regnal name Shah Jahan, conferred upon her the title "Mumtaz Mahal" which means “the privileged one of the palace”.
Mumtaz and her husband had fourteen children, including Jahanara Begum (Shah Jahan's favourite daughter), and the Crown prince Dara Shikoh, and Aurangzeb, who ultimately succeeded his father as the sixth Mughal emperor in 1658. Mumtaz Maha died in 1631 in Burhanpur, Deccan, while giving birth to her fourteenth child, Gauhar Ara Begum. Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal, as a monument of undying love built as a tomb for her.
Salim painted this painting, which includes an imagined portrait of the Mumtaz Mahal, as a tribute to her. Although the Shah Jahan built her the Taj Mahal, can we ever be sure how she felt to be betrothed to a young man fifteen years of age, when she was only fourteen, and later married as his second wife, and then giving birth almost every year to fourteen children in the course of nineteen years of their married life. We can be sure that these thoughts came into mind as Salim painted this tribute to the woman.
The painting is in good condition
oil on canvas
signed and dated (lower right): Salim 03
92 x 65 cm
About The Artist: