Jahangir Entertains Shah Abbas from the St. Petersburg Album

Artist: Attributed to Bishandas (active 1590-1640)
Borders: Muhammad Sadiq
Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Jahangir, ca. 1620; borders 1746-47
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque water color, gold and ink on paper
H x W: 25 x 18.3 cm (9 13/16 x 7 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Album leaf with painting

emperor, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), Reign of Jahangir (1605 - 1627), shah
Provenance research underway.

This painting represents the Jahangir's imaginary entertainment of the Persian ruler Shah Abbas. The opulence displayed by Jahangir in this scene symbolizes the Emperor's desire to overwhelm his opponent with his wealth and power. Unfortunately, Jahangir's ambitions were not realized as Shah Abbas captured Qandahar from the Mughals in 1622, a few years after the execution of this painting.

In 1739 Nadir Shah of Iran attacked the Mughal capital at Delhi, seizing many of the best Mughal paintings and manuscript illustrations. These were mounted into albums prepared and decorated by the leading Persian artists of the day and eventually formed the compilation known today as the St. Petersburg album. (See F1945a, F1931.20, F1942.15a, F1942.17a, F1942.18a, F1994.4, F1996.a-b)

Published References
  • Guillermo Galindo. Sonic Biogenesis: Genomics and Mutant Jungles. Exh. cat. Boston, Massachusetts, 2021. fig. 1.
  • Amin Jaffer. Beyond Extravegance: A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels. vols. 1-2, , 2nd ed. New York. pg. 41.
  • Yale University Press. God is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth: Light in Islamic Art and Culture. Virginia. .
  • Susan Stronge. Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection. .
  • Masters of Indian Painting. Exh. cat. Zurich. vol. 1: pp. 259-278, fig. 10.
  • Heike Franke. Akbar und Gahangir: Untersuchungen zur politischen und religiosen Legitimation in Text und Bild. Bonner Islamstudien, no. 12. pl. 23.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. Paintings of the Sultans and Emperors of India in American Collections. Lalit Kala Series of Indian Art New Delhi. pl. 13.
  • Ebba Koch. Dara-Shikoh Shooting Nilgais: Hunt and Landscape in Mughal Painting. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. p. 13, fig. 1.
  • Amin Jaffer, Martin Chapman. East Meets West: Jewels of the Maharajas from the Al Thani Collection. San Francisco. pp. 14-15, fig. 4.
  • Karine Tsoumis. Maiolica in Renaissance Venice: Ceramics and Luxury at the Crossroads. Munich, October 20, 2021. p. 16, fig. 2.
  • Marianna Shreve Simpson. L'Art Islamique: Asiae, Iran, Afgahanistan, Asia Centrale et Inde. La Grammaire des Styles Paris, 1956-1958. pp. 60-62.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 17c, pp. 78, 170-171.
  • Mario Bussagli. Indian Miniatures. London and New York. p. 111, pl. 50.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd ed. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 22B, pp. 124-125.
  • Goa and the Great Mughal. Lisbon and London. p. 129.
  • Pratapaditya Pal, Frank Ames. The Arts of Kashmir. Exh. cat. New York. p. 152, fig. 161.
  • Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes, and Kings. Exh. cat. Cambridge, Massachusetts. p.179, figs. 1-2.
  • Thomas Lawton, Thomas W. Lentz. Beyond the Legacy: Anniversary Acquisitions for the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. vol. 1 Washington, 1998. p. 186, fig. 2.
  • Dr. Esin Atil, W. Thomas Chase, Paul Jett. Islamic Metalwork in the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington, 1985. pp. 209-210, 222, fig. 69.
  • Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th & 17th Centuries. Exh. cat. Washington, 2007. I-12, p. 240.
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.