- Museum number
Ibrahim ʿAdil Shah II. Single-page painting on a detached album folio. Portrait of the ruler holding castanets.
Ink, opaque watercolour and gold on paper.
- Production date
- 1615 (circa)
Height: 17 centimetres
Width: 10.20 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Ibrahim `Adil Shah II was a descendant of the Ottoman dynasty of Turkey; he ruled the Shi`a Muslim sultanate of Bijapur in the Deccan from 1579 to1627. The various sultanates of the Deccan mostly remained independent from the powerful Mughals in Northern India, apart from a period of occupation by the Mughal emperor Awrangzib between 1687 and 1724.
The Sultan was an inspired patron of painting, music and poetry. Ambassadors from the Mughal court reported that he would fall into a reverie while listening to musical performances; the pair of castanets in his left hand in this portrait alludes to his particular love of music. In his right, the ruler holds a handkerchief, which is a symbol of kingship. Ibrahim `Adil Shah II was a spiritual person, interested in both Hindu and Muslim mysticism: here he wears a rudraksha necklace of dried berries, typically worn by Hindu holy men and used as a rosary. The sultan stands in a garden, with a walled white palace appearing in the background. Most of the middle ground is painted black, which serves to emphasise the pale white and gold of his costume against the darkness.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017 3 Mar-5 Jun, Dresden, Stories in Miniatures“ in the Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen
2015 14 Apr-26 Jul, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'Sultans of Deccan India, 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy'
2007 11 Apr-10 Jun, Virginia, Jamestown Yorktown Foundation Centre, 'The World of 1607'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- ‘Valuable printed books, autograph letters and historical documents, Persian and Indian manuscripts and miniatures’, Sotheby’s, March 15-17th, 1937; lot. 605 (?)
- Middle East
- Registration number