Nadir Shah of Iran

Detached album folio; Nadir Shah of Iran; single-page portrait; Persian in black nasta’liq script, inscription on the top reads: likeness of [the] auspicious Highness Nadirshah Padishah the [?]; on the side: was drawn during the auspicious visit of Shah Jahan [?].
Border: The painting is set in gold and black rulings in a blue foliate scroll, surrounded by a red and gold outer frame mounted on a cream-colored paperboard with floral motifs.

Historical period(s)
Mughal Dynasty, ca. 1900
Movement
Mughal Court
School
Mughal School
Medium
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper
Dimensions
H x W (overall): 30.6 x 22.9 cm (12 1/16 x 9 in)
Geography
India
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1986.439
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Album, Painting
Type

Detached album folio

Keywords
Henri Vever collection, India, Iran, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), portrait, shah, WWII-era provenance
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Detached album folio; Nadir Shah of Iran; single-page portrait; Persian in black nasta'liq script, inscription on the top reads: likeness of [the] auspicious Highness Nadirshah Padishah the [?]; on the side: was drawn during the auspicious visit of Shah Jahan [?].
Border: The painting is set in gold and black rulings in a blue foliate scroll, surrounded by a red and gold outer frame mounted on a cream-colored paperboard with floral motifs.

Inscription(s)

On the top, "likeness of [the] auspicious Highness Nadirshah Padishah the [?]."
On the side: “was drawn during the auspicious visit of Shah Jahan [?]."

Label

During a period of political and artistic decline following the reign of Aurangzeb (1658-1707), the Mughal empire became subject to invasion. The Iranian ruler Nadir shah (reigned 1736-47) sacked Delhi in 1739. Among the many treasures that Nadir shah brought back to Iran were a great early Mughal manuscript, the Hamzanama (Story of Amir Hamza), the Peacock Throne of Shahjahan, and the Koh-i Nur diamond.

This portrait, identified in the inscription as Nadir shah, is probably based on an eighteenth-century drawing. The distinctive headdress is likely to have been Nadir shah's choice as a dynastic emblem.

Published References
  • 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. 403, p. 333.
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.