Portrait, of Saif Khan, Governor of Agra

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made in India

Postcard of Portrait, of Saif Khan, Governor of Agra.
© National Museums Scotland

Portrait, of Saif Khan, Governor of Agra

This miniature portrait of Saif Khan, appointed Governor of Agra in 1659, was painted in India between around 1670 and 1680. The portrait originally belonged to an album. Portraiture flourished in Mughal India, where painters took a great interest in realism.

The portrait is in opaque mineral pigments on buff paper. It shows Saif Khan, seated cross-legged on a terrace, holding a jade back-stretcher, his sword lying in front of him. He is simply dressed in a closely wound white turban with floral detail and a white muslin robe. He is seated on a carpet or textile embroidered with flowers against a large cylindrical cushion.

The Persian inscription above the top border is in nasta'liq script and states the name saif khan (upper right) followed by a verse couplet describing him as a zealous servant of the Emperor and making a play on his name, Saif meaning sword. A gold Rajasthan inscription under the bottom border is in devanagari script and reads 'sibih seph khan'. In the lower right corner is the Mughal seal of Aurangzeb's reign.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-002-213-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1994.270
Date: Between around 1670 and 1680
c. 1670 - 1680
Material: Paper, buff; painted in opaque colours. Inscription: Obverse: saif khan; sibih seph khan. Reverse: [Persian verses]; [inventory no]; [old evaluation]
Dimensions: 230 mm H x 180 mm W
What: Album page
Who: Saif Khan
Where: India
India, Agra
Description: Miniature portrait of Saif Khan, Governor of Agra, painted in opaque mineral pigments on buff paper: Indian, late Mughhal, reign of Aurangzeb, c. 1670 - 1680
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