Mongol Chieftain and Attendants, folio from the Gulshan Album (Rose Garden album)

Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Jahangir, ca. 1600
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
H x W: 42.3 x 26.5 cm (16 5/8 x 10 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Freer Gallery 01: Body Image: Arts of the Indian Subcontinent
Manuscript, Painting

Album leaf with painting

attendant, bird, drum, India, lute, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), nasta'liq script, Reign of Jahangir (1605 - 1627)
Provenance research underway.

The headdress on the central figure suggests that he is a Mongol, a term which in altered form became Mughal.  It has been suggested that the central figure here portrays Genghiz Khan, the most celebrated ruler of the Mongols.
Babur (1526–30), the founder of the Mughal dynasty of India, was a Turk; he was descended from Timur on his father's side and was related to Genghiz Khan through his mother.  The Mughal emperors celebrated their central Asian ancestry, and their forefathers were often represented in album paintings. 

Published References
  • Richard Ettinghausen. New Pictorial Evidence of Catholic Missionary Activity in Mughal India (Early XVIIth Century). Munster. fig. 8, pl. 394.
  • Richard Ettinghausen. The Emperor's Choice., reprint. New York. pl. 32, fig. 16.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 16a, pp. 28, 156-158.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 62, pp. 104-105.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd ed. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 20C, p. 107.
  • Stephen Frederic Dale. The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals., 1st ed. New York and Cambridge. p. 174, fig. 7.
  • 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. 180, fig. 1.
  • Abolala Soudavar, Milo Cleveland Beach. Art of the Persian Courts: Selections from the Art and History Trust Collection. New York. p. 306.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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