An Aged Courtier from the Salim Album

Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Jahangir, ca. 1603
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper, mounted on paperboard
H x W (overall): 23 x 14.9 cm (9 1/16 x 5 7/8 in)
India, Uttar Pradesh state, Allahabad
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Manuscript folio

courtier, elder, Henri Vever collection, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), Reign of Jahangir (1605 - 1627)
Provenance research underway.

This page is from an album of paintings commissioned by Prince Salim before his succession to the throne as Emperor Jahangir (reigned 1605-27). Around the time this portrait was painted, Prince Salim, in rebellion against his father Akbar (reigned 1556-1605), established a court at Allahabad. There he employed artists whose painting style is distinct from that of Akbar's imperial court.

The inscription in Persian reads: "The old wisdom-spinner, the boastful gatekeeper of destiny, he whom they call doorman in the house of affliction."

Published References
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. p. 54, fig. 23.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd ed. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 19A, p. 102.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 329, p. 277.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.