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Paintings > Mughal > A portrait of Abdullah Khan from Padshahnama Folio
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A portrait of Abdullah Khan from Padshahnama Folio

A portrait of Abdullah Khan from Padshahnama Folio

A portrait of Abdullah Khan from Padshahnama Folio

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Miniature Painting On Paper
From the Padshahnama
Artist Kailash Raj

9" x 13"
Item Code:
$165.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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A portrait of Abdullah Khan from Padshahnama Folio

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Viewed 3365 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
This excellent painting of Kailash Raj, a known artist of Rajasthan, is a portrait of Abdullah Khan Bahadur, a Mughal noble of Shahjahan's court. The portrait is based on a folio of Padshahnama depicting the elimination of Khan-i-jahan Lodi, a courtier turned rebel. Khan-i-Jahan Lodi was once a favoured courtier of Jahangir and the care-taker of his eldest son Prince Parvez. After Shahjahan ascended the Mughal throne, the credibility of Khan-i-Jahan Lodi was doubted. Aware of it Khan-i-Jahan Lodi preferred to revolt but was chased by imperial forces and killed along with his sons Aziz and Emal. Abdullah Khan, though Khan-i-Jahan Lodi had been killed before he reached the battle site, was the incharge of the contingent chasing Lodi. Hence, the Padshahnama folio, depicting the event, rendered Abdullah Khan's figure with portraitural elaboration.

Abdullah Khan Firoz Jang, or Khwaja Abdullah, was born in 1575 at Hissar in Transoxiana. He was a descendant of Khwaja Ubaidullah Nasiruddin Ahrar, one of the great mystics of the Naqshbandi order. Abdullah Khan along with his two brothers came to India in 1592 in search of employment and was able to get a job at Akbar's court. He worked with three Mughal emperors, Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan and was elevated to various high positions, though in the process he was several times misunderstood, demoted, punished and imprisoned but was at last able to win each time his emperor's confidence and resultant favour. He was lastly assigned the responsibility of suppressing Khan-i-Jahan Lodi and after he had accomplished it successfully he was raised to the rank of 6000 and appointed the Governor of Bihar.

The figure of Abdullah Khan in Padshahnama folio is not that large. Kailash Raj has improved its size proportionately. He has not only captured the minutest details, sharp features, fine lines, proportions and balance, scheme of colours, figurative grace, feeling of determination and robustness but has also caught his intrinsic personality, his thoughtfulness and above all his unique aestheticism, which manifests itself in all things, his arms and armours, choice of garments and their colours and in his entire style. The colours of garments and armaments have been mutually balanced both in contrast and in synthesis and so have been the proportions of his physique. It is an excellent portrait for both, the one who knows that this is Abdullah Khan's likeness imitated from Padshahnama and the other who enjoys it as a sheer work of art.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture. the Miniature Paintings Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi.

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