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The Emperor Akbar and his troops leave a fortress: a page from an Akbarnama, mounted on a page from the Farhang-i Jahangiri
Place of Origin: Northern India or Pakistan
Date: painting 1603-04; underlying page with border 1608-23
Materials: Opaque watercolors and gold on paper
Dimensions: H. 13 1/2 in x W. 8 7/8 in; H. 34.3 cm x W. 22.5 cm
Credit Line: Acquisition made possible by Richard and Kim Beleson, The George Hopper Fitch Bequest, and Dr. Mary Hunt, with additional funding from Paul and Kathleen Bissinger, Hok Pui and Sally Yu Leung, Fred M. and Nancy Livingston Levin -The Shenson Foundation, Rhoda and Richard Mesker, Anne and Tim Kahn, Betty and Bruce Alberts, Dr. Stephen A. and Merrill Randol Sherwin, Robert L. Speer and John Wong, and museum purchase
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 2008.64
On Display: No

Description

Label:

This painting depicts the Mughal emperor Akbar (1542– 1605) riding an elephant and surrounded by his troops. The group is shown leaving a fortified city-palace complex. The soldiers are depicted carrying a variety of arms; including spears, arrows, an axe, and a musket. The musket is noteworthy, for the Mughal dynasty is considered one of the most successful of the gunpowder empires.

Akbar was the third and, to some, the greatest of all Mughal emperors. Over the centuries and up through the present he has frequently been seen as an exemplary model of a secular, liberal, and heroic leader. He was only fourteen when he became emperor and went on to rule for forty-nine years. He gradually enlarged his empire to include Afghanistan in the west, Kashmir in the north, Bengal in the east, and south all the way to part of the south central plateau. He has been noted over the centuries for his ability to unite various religious and ethnic groups.

This painting is from an illustrated copy of the Akbarnama completed around 1604. The Akbarnama is a three-volume biography and history of the reign of Akbar, written by his prime minister Abu'l Fazl. A French dealer extracted several miniatures from the manuscript and re-mounted them using gilded borders from the Farhang-i Jahangiri, the royal dictionary completed during the reign of Akbar's son Jahangir. The animals depicted in the border are carefully executed. On the side with the painting we see beautiful renderings of cranes, antelope, and rabbits as well as an expressive phoenix.


More Information

Exhibition History: Arts of the Islamic World from Turkey to Indonesia (Tateuchi Gallery, September 5, 2008 - March 1, 2009)
Label:

This painting depicts the Mughal emperor Akbar (1542– 1605) riding an elephant and surrounded by his troops. The group is shown leaving a fortified city-palace complex. The soldiers are depicted carrying a variety of arms; including spears, arrows, an axe, and a musket. The musket is noteworthy, for the Mughal dynasty is considered one of the most successful of the gunpowder empires.

Akbar was the third and, to some, the greatest of all Mughal emperors. Over the centuries and up through the present he has frequently been seen as an exemplary model of a secular, liberal, and heroic leader. He was only fourteen when he became emperor and went on to rule for forty-nine years. He gradually enlarged his empire to include Afghanistan in the west, Kashmir in the north, Bengal in the east, and south all the way to part of the south central plateau. He has been noted over the centuries for his ability to unite various religious and ethnic groups.

This painting is from an illustrated copy of the Akbarnama completed around 1604. The Akbarnama is a three-volume biography and history of the reign of Akbar, written by his prime minister Abu'l Fazl. A French dealer extracted several miniatures from the manuscript and re-mounted them using gilded borders from the Farhang-i Jahangiri, the royal dictionary completed during the reign of Akbar's son Jahangir. The animals depicted in the border are carefully executed. On the side with the painting we see beautiful renderings of cranes, antelope, and rabbits as well as an expressive phoenix.


Exhibition History: Arts of the Islamic World from Turkey to Indonesia (Tateuchi Gallery, September 5, 2008 - March 1, 2009)