Jahangir Entertains Shah Abbas from the St. Petersburg Album

Artist: Attributed to Bishandas (active 1590-1640)
Borders: Muhammad Sadiq
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Jahangir, ca. 1620; borders 1746-47
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque water color, gold and ink on paper
H x W: 25 x 18.3 cm (9 13/16 x 7 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Manuscript

Album folio with painting

emperor, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), Reign of Jahangir (1605 - 1627), shah, WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable

This painting represents the Jahangir's imaginary entertainment of the Persian ruler Shah Abbas. The opulence displayed by Jahangir in this scene symbolizes the Emperor's desire to overwhelm his opponent with his wealth and power. Unfortunately, Jahangir's ambitions were not realized as Shah Abbas captured Qandahar from the Mughals in 1622, a few years after the execution of this painting.

In 1739 Nadir Shah of Iran attacked the Mughal capital at Delhi, seizing many of the best Mughal paintings and manuscript illustrations. These were mounted into albums prepared and decorated by the leading Persian artists of the day and eventually formed the compilation known today as the St. Petersburg album. (See F1945a, F1931.20, F1942.15a, F1942.17a, F1942.18a, F1994.4, F1996.a-b)

Published References
  • Amin Jaffer. Beyond Extravegance: A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels. vols. 1 and 2, , 2nd edition. New York. pg. 41.
  • Yale University Press. "Light in Islamic Art and Culture." God is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth. Virginia. .
  • Susan Stronge. "The Al Thani Collection." Bejewelled Treasures. .
  • Heike Franke. Akbar und Gahangir: Untersuchungen zur politischen und religiosen Legitimation in Text und Bild. Bonner Islamstudien, no. 12. pl. 23.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Paintings of the Sultans and Emperors of India in American Collections. Lalit Kala Series of Indian Art New Delhi. pl. 13.
  • Ebba Koch. Dara-Shikoh Shooting Nilgais: Hunt and Landscape in Mughal Painting. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. p. 13, fig. 1.
  • Amin Jaffer, Martin Chapman. East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from the Al Thani Collection. San Francisco. p. 14-15, fig. 4.
  • Marianna Shreve Simpson. L'Art Islamique: Asiae, Iran, Afgahanistan, Asia Centrale et Inde. La Grammaire des Styles Paris, 1956-1958. pp. 60-62.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 17c, pp. 78, 170-171.
  • Mario Bussagli. Indian Miniatures. London and New York. p. 111, pl. 50.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 22B, pp. 124-125.
  • Goa and the Great Mughal. Lisbon and London. p. 129.
  • Pratapaditya Pal, Frank Ames. The Arts of Kashmir. Exh. cat. New York. p. 152, fig. 161.
  • Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes, and Kings. Exh. cat. Cambridge, Massachusetts. p.179, figs. 1-2.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. p. 186, fig. 2.
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. pp. 209-210, 222, fig. 69.
  • Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th & 17th Centuries. Exh. cat. Washington, 2007. I-12, p. 240.
  • Masters of Indian Painting. Exh. cat. Zurich. pp. 259-278, fig. 10.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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