Portrait of Shah Jahan


Portrait of Shah Jahan



A green background, often seen in the portraits of this period, this is a formal portrait of the king during the period of his waning glory. The portrait however, retains the regal aura in the golden halo around his face and a beautiful emerald serpech on his turban. Though painted in soft tones, his regal attire includes brocaded salvar and slippers, a long transparent jama, and a number of ornaments of pearls and precious stones. The haron feather on his turban is now grey to match his white turban and the grey beard. A dagger with a damascene handle has a beautiful dagger guard or a decorative tassel of seed pearls, somewhat like the one seen on the dagger of cat. no. 187. Except a few clouds and some flowering plants, there is no other decorative element in the painting.

There is a noticeable difference in the portrait of Shah Jahan painted about a decade earlier by Hashim which was preserved in the former Cartier Collection, and this one, which is also attributed to Hashim. The earlier portrait depicts him with his sword and other arms, fully in command over his kingdom. In a decade, his face is writ with deep sorrow and his hair has turned grey. The champaka flower in his hand is more an indication of a docile disarmed king rather than a symbol of joyful and peaceful times.

From the Muraqqa of Nana Phadnis.


Indian Miniature Paintings


Attributed to Hashim

Object Type

Miniature Painting


Opaque watercolour on paper






1660 CE




Full page: 34.9 x 55.4 cms, Painting: 14 x 23.5 cms.