Miniature portrait watercolours, ink and gold on paper

Hyderabad, Deccan, India, late 17th century AD

These paintings come from an album which was typical of those prepared for foreign visitors, with paintings of kings, princes and courtiers of Safavid Iran, Mughal India and the sultanates of the Deccan, some scenes of daily life, and images of Hindu gods, all rendered in the dry, commercial style of Hyderabad.

Although there is no indication of who first owned this album, it is possible that it was acquired in the late 1680s by Engelbert Kaempfer as he passed through India on his way to Japan. Kaempfer's library was later bought by Sir Hans Sloane.

The main painting shown here depicts Sultan Murad Bakhsh, described as 'Oran zeb [Aurangzeb]'s younger than he. murder'd by him.' The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (reigned 1658-1707) overthrew his father, Shah Jahan, and eliminated any members of his family who might have rebelled against him. Although he conquered the Deccan, south central India, Aurangzeb's religious intolerance led to the decline of Mughal power.

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Miniature portrait watercolours, ink and gold on paper

Sultan Murad Bakhsh


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Height: 342.000 mm
Width: 241.000 mm

Museum number

Asia OA 1974 6-17 02 (10, 15, 53 58)


Collection of Sir Hans Sloane


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