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Portrait of Shah Dawlat, by Bichitr

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Portrait of Shah Dawlat, by Bichitr
Author(s): Chester Beatty Library
Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Jahangir Album (Chester Beatty MS.7);paintings;miniatures;photograph
Description: The celebrated Muhammadan saint, Shah Daulat, lived during the reigns of Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb, and was shown marked reverence by all three. He was credited with magical powers. The painting was formerly included in a remarkable album belonging to Jahangir and Shah Jahan, which was later in the possession of Lord Minto. It contained some forty paintings by the leading Court artists. Half of these are in the Victoria & Albert Museum and half now belong to Mr. Chester Beatty. To the right is a Persian inscription, 'The servant of the Royal Court'. The emblem carried by S.D. may indicate his devotion to the Emperor. The globe is inscribed in Persian, 'The key of the victory over the two worlds is entrusted to they hand'. The portrait is an impressive example of the art as it developed towards the middle of the 17th century, and especially the mastery of facial expression obtained. Strongly influenced by Europe, this delicate portraiture yet retains some traces of indigenous convention. Almost all the portraits, for instance, are in profile or near profile as regards the face & feet, while the body is shown in three-quarter profile.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-3021


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