Jahangir and Prince Khurram Entertained by Nur Jahan

Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Jahangir, ca. 1640-50
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
H x W: 25.2 x 14.2 cm (9 15/16 x 5 9/16 in)
North India
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Album, Painting

Album leaf with painting

deer, dragon, eating, emperor, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), phoenix, prince, Reign of Jahangir (1605 - 1627)

To 1907
Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna (1839-1914), London, to 1907 [1]

From 1907 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna in 1907 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original List of Persian and Indian Drawings, S.I. 1564, Miscellaneous section of Inventory, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Colonel Henry Bathurst Hanna (C.L. Freer source) 1839-1914
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


The powerful empress Nur Jahan (1577-1645) was an ardent patron of gardens. This intimate composition depicts the empress relaxing with her husband, Jahangir, and Prince Khurram, the future emperor Shah Jahan, in what is almost certainly the Ram Bagh garden. Nur Jahan remodeled this Agra garden in 1621, shortly before the painting was created.

The Ram Bagh epitomizes the imperial Mughal (1526-1858) garden aesthetic that thoroughly integrated nature and architecture. Carpets like fields of flowers, wall paintings of cypresses, open porches with blossom-adorned columns, and water channels that ran from exterior to interior contributed to a fluid, delightful whole. Delicately scented breezes and burbling fountains further set the stage for royal pastimes.

Published References
  • Ruby Lal. Empress: The Astonishing Reign of Nur Jahan. New York. bottom of 3rd illustration page.
  • I.N. Khan Arshi. Black Taj Mahal: The Emperor's Missing Tomb. New Delhi. .
  • Amina Okada, Jean Louis Nou. A Jewel of Mughal India: The Mauseleum of I'timad ud-Daulah. Milan. title page image.
  • The Moonlight Garden: New Discoveries at the Taj Mahal. Washington, 2000. p. 23.
  • (Forward) Milo Cleveland Beach. The Magnificent Mughals. New York. p. 30, fig. 2.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 32, pp. 33, 205-206.
  • Facets of Indian Art: A Symposium Held at the Victoria and Albert on 26, 27, 28 April and May 1, 1982. London. p. 59, fig. 14.
  • Thomas Lawton, Linda Merrill. Freer: a legacy of art. Washington and New York, 1993. p. 129, fig. 88.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. Colonel Hanna's Indian Paintings. vol. 118, no. 258 London, August 1983. pp. 154-159, fig. 2.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd ed. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat.35, pp. 162-3.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. New Pictorial Evidence of Catholic Missionary Activity in Mughal India (Early XVIIth Century). Munster. p. 391, fig. 1-2.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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