Jahangir with Asaf Khan and Shayista Khan, from the Late Shah Jahan Album

Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Shah Jahan, ca. 1650
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper mounted on paperboard
H x W (overall): 44.9 x 33 cm (17 11/16 x 13 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Smithsonian Unrestricted Trust Funds, Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler
Arthur M. Sackler Collection
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Detached manuscript folio

bird, carpet, cloud, courtier, emperor, flower, halo, Henri Vever collection, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), Reign of Shah Jahan (1628 - 1658), throne

From at least 1910
Georges Demotte (1877-1923), Paris, from at least 1910 [1]

To 1942
Henri Vever (1854-1942), Paris and Noyers, France, to 1942 [2]

From 1942 to 1986
Family member, Paris and Boulogne, France, by inheritance from Henri Vever, Paris and Noyers, France [3]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, purchased from a family member, Paris and Boulogne, France [4]


[1] The object is documented as having appeared in the collection of Georges Demotte by at least January 1910. See Susan Nemazee, "Appendix 7: Chart of Recent Provenance" in An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection, Glenn D. Lowry et al (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), p. 410.

[2] See Glenn D. Lowry et al., An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1988), pp. 280-285, no. 335.

[3] See the Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of the Henri Vever Collection of January 9, 1986, Collections Management Office.

[4] See note 3.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Henri Vever 1854-1942
Georges Demotte 1877-1923
Francois Mautin 1907-2003


The main subjects of this painting are Shah-Jahan's father,  Jahangir (ruled 1605-27), and Asaf Kahn (died 1641), one of the most influential Mughal nobles.  Asaf Khan's sister (Nur Jahan, died 1645) was Jahangir's favorite wife, and Asaf Khan's daughter (Mumtaz Mahal, died 1631) married Shah-Jahan in 1612.  As a posthumous visual confirmation of Asaf Khan's extraordinary status and importance, the enthroned Jahangir has just offered his brother-in-law a gold plate filled with gems and a turban ornament (sarpich).

Published References
  • Susan Stronge. Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection. .
  • I.N. Khan Arshi. Black Taj Mahal: The Emperor's Missing Tomb. New Delhi. .
  • Envisioning an Imperial Mughal Album; The Late Shah Jahan Album (assembled c. 1650-58): Muraqqa Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library. .
  • Rene Grousset. The Civilizations of the East. 4 vols., New York and London, 1931-1934. vol. 1: p. 313, fig. 197.
  • Ivan Stchoukine. Les miniatures indiennes de l'époque des grands moghols au Musée du Louvre. Études d'Art et d'Archeologie Paris. pl. XXXIV.
  • Pratapaditya Pal. Romance of the Taj Mahal. Exh. cat. Los Angeles and London. pp. 32-33.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd ed. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 21F, pp. 117-8.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Susan Nemanzee. A Jeweler's Eye: Islamic Arts of the Book from the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 53, pp. 170-171.
  • Glenn D. Lowry, Milo Cleveland Beach, Elisabeth West FitzHugh, Susan Nemanzee, Janet Snyder. An Annotated and Illustrated Checklist of the Vever Collection. Washington and Seattle. cat. 335, pp. 280, 283.
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.