- Museum number
Two Mughal noblemen (Shah Jahan and Dara Shikoh); after a Mughal miniature, the man at right with a beard facing a younger, clean-shaven man, both wearing turbans and holding long swords. c.1656-1661
Pen and brown ink with brown and grey wash, touched with white and with scraping-out, on Asian paper prepared with pale brown wash; traces of framing lines in pen and pale brown ink visible towards the right of the lower edge; an accidental graphite mark below right figure.
Verso: see Inscriptions.
- Production date
- 1656-1661 (circa)
Height: 172 millimetres
Width: 214 millimetres
- Curator's comments
Entry from Martin Royalton-Kisch, 'Catalogue of drawings by Rembrandt and his school', 2010, Rembrandt, cat. no.60:
A copy after a Mughal miniature (see under cat. no.56; 1895,0915.1275, Benesch 1187[). The figure on the right has been identified as Shāh Jahān (r.1628-58), while that on the left could be his son, Dārā Shikōh (born c.1614).
Rembrandt's prototype for the drawing survives among the miniatures at Schönbrunn but appears to have been divided when it was incorporated into the wall-decorations there. The model for the figure on the left has long been recognised, but not for that on the right. Yet it was probably the image of Shāh Jahān seen in another panel of the room who, apart from his feet, is shown in almost the same posture. The slightly more forward alternative position of the nearer arm shown in Rembrandt's drawing reflects the pose of the original more accurately. Shāh Jahān is also depicted in cat. no.61 (Gg,2.262, Benesch 1205).
 The identifications made by Lunsingh Scheurleer, 1980 (see Lit.), who points out that the model for the figure on the right among the Schönbrunn miniatures suggested by Benesch, 1957, in fact shows the later Great Mughal Farrukhsiyār (r.1713-19). She does not propose an alternative prototype. The figure on the right was tentatively identified (probably by R. Pinder-Wilson, formerly of the British Museum's Department of Oriental Antiquities) as Jahāngīr or Shāh Jahān in Exh. London, 1972-3, no.221.
 By Benesch, 1957.
 The figure is illustrated by Strzygowski, 1923, pl.35 (on the right) and Exh. London, 1992, p.150, fig.66b. He there has a halo, suggesting that the miniature dates from c.1630 and at all events after Shāh Jahān's accession in 1628. The prototype for the figure on the left is repr.Strzygowski, op. cit., pl.24 (top left) and Exh. London, 1992, p.150, fig.66a.
 Another, similar figure is repr. op. cit., fig.23 (below); but this is less close in a few significant details, such as the pearl hanging from the front of the turban and the position of the nearer arm. It also appears stylistically further removed from the prototype for the other figure in the drawing, with which it must originally have been joined.
LITERATURE (always as Rembrandt):
Robinson, 1869/76, no.787/809; Kleinmann, IV, no.60; Sarre, 1904, p.154, repr. p.153, fig.9 (as cat. no.56, 1895,0915.1275, Benesch 1187; costume study); Hofstede de Groot, 1906, no.927; Wurzbach, 1910, p.418 (Rembrandt?); London, 1915, no.76 (c.1656); Valentiner, II, 1934, no.652, repr; Benesch, 1935, p.56; Benesch, V, 1957/73, no.1204, repr. fig.1430/1505 (c.1654-6; suggests particular miniatures at Schönbrunn were Rembrandt's prototypes - see above, n.1); Bernhard, 1976, II, repr. p.539; Broos, 1980, p.212, repr. fig.3 (as Benesch, 1957; poses more natural than in the original miniatures; shows two Indian warriors); Lunsingh Scheurleer, 1980, pp.17 and 36, repr. fig.24 (see n.1 above).
For a comprehensive overview of Rembrandt's copies after Mughal portraits, see S. Schrader, 'Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India' Exh cat. J. Paul Getty Museum, 2018, no.7; Schrader notes that Rembrandt combined two seperate images in the present drawing, and in addition to the Schönbrunn miniatures, identifies further prototypes for the figures: on the left, Murar, Dara Shikoh, c. 1631-32, British Library (Add.Or. 3129, fol. 59v) and on the right, Balchand, Shah Jahan, c. 1630, Victoria & Albert Museum (IM.112-1921). William Robinson revisits the question of authorship of the Mughal drawings; he argues they accord with Rembrandt's style in the late 1650s-early 1660s, and he disagrees with MRK's suggestion that they might be by Aert de Gelder. Robinson further notes that in the present drawing, Rembrandt initially drew the feet too low and too far forward, and then scraped away the first iteration and redrew the feet, but traces of of the original contours remain visible. In other drawings after Mughal portraits, Rembrandt used scratchwork to create highlights. See 'A book of Indian Drawings, 25 in number' in Schrader 2018, pp. 43-59 and figs. 35 and 36; and 'Rembrandt's 'Indian Drawings' and his Later Work' Annual Thaw Lecture, Morgan Drawing Institute, 2018.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
London, 1895, no.379b (from an Indian illuminated MS);
1938, no.76 (c.1656);
1956, p.16, no.6;
1972-3, no.221 (c.1654-6; of Jahāngīr or Shāh Jahān);
1992, BM, Drawings by Rembrandt and his Circle, no.66, repr. (c.1656-61).
2013/14 Oct-Jan Brussels, Bozar, 'Indomania'
2018 13 Mar-24 Jun, Los Angeles, JP Getty Museum, Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India
- Good; slightly rubbed in places; a crease runs almost vertically through the left-hand figure; thin spots between the two heads.
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Jonathan Richardson, sen. (L.2184 - see cat. no.56 [1895,0915.1275, Benesch 1187]); John Bouverie (L.325);* by descent to 1st Earl of Gainsborough; his sale, Christie’s, 20 July, 1859, lot 132, bt Graves, £2-4-0; Dr H. Wellesley (L.1384, but with only one ‘W’); his sale, Sotheby’s, 6th day, 30 June, 1866, lot 1060, bt Addington, £1-18-0, from whom bt Malcolm, February, 1867 (according to annotated copy of Malcolm catalogue); John Malcolm of Poltalloch (L.1489), purchased with his collection, 1895.
*See the drawing attributed to Van den Eeckhout, cat.no.19 (1895,0806.72, Benesch 113) for the note under Acquisition.
- Prints and Drawings
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