ca. 1590 (painted)
Height: 25.4 cm Painting only, Width: 14 cm Painting only, Height: 26.5 cm Page, Width: 15.8 cm Page (approx.)
Painting from the Baburnama, ladies of the court in an encampment outside a citadel, watercolour on paper, Mughal, ca. 1590
A begum attended by ladies receives a prince in her encampment outside a citadel. The red canopy above them has a border of lozenges in white, orange, green and black; the encircling screen is washed with red and its entrance is guarded by a man with a white turban. Various figures gesture in front of the gate to the citadel, while others gather in a line in the foreground, with two horses. Two lines of text are in a panel above the begum, and two more lines are in a panel floating against the screen below.
This illustration was removed from a manuscript of the Baburnama ('Book of Babur'), the Persian translation of the memoirs of Babur (r. 1526-1530) who founded the Mughal empire. Babur wrote in his primary language, eastern Turkish, and the translation was commissioned by his grandson, the Mughal emperor Akbar, so that the contents could be widely read in the empire. The translator, Mirza Abdu'r Rahim, was the Khan-i khanan or Prime Minister, and completed his work in AH 998/AD1589. He presented it to Akbar on the emperor's return to Agra from Kabul on 24 November 1589. Multiple copies of his text were made. The illustrated volume to which this painting originally belonged is regarded as having been done in Akbar's painting atelier, the Ketab khana or 'House of Books'. At least seven illustrated copies of the Baburnama have survived, datable to between 1589 and the end of Akbar's life in 1605. This page depicts the reunion of Babar with his sister, Khanzada Begum, at Kunduz in 1511 after her release from captivity by their Iranian enemies. The painting was probably done in about 1590.
The page has been removed from a volume of the Baburnama, the memoirs of Babur which were translated from Turki into Persian for Akbar by Mirza Abdu'r Rahim Khan-i khanan. The Prime Minister completed his work in AH 998/AD1589 and presented it to Akbar on the emperor's return to Agra from Kabul on 24 November 1589. The illustrated volume to which this painting originally belonged is regarded as having been done in Akbar's painting atelier, the Ketab khana or 'House of Books'.
Location: South Asia, room 41, case C