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A Bust Portrait For The Young Dara Shikoh

December 31, 1626
The Morgan Library and Museum
Shah Jahan 1627–1658

A Bust Portrait For The Young Dara Shikoh



A bust portrait for the young Dara Shikoh India, between 1631 and 1635.


Dara Shikoh (Persian: دارا شِکوہ‎), also known as Dara Shukoh, (20 March 1615 – 30 August 1659) was the eldest son and heir-apparent of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

Dara was designated with the title Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba ("Prince of High Rank") and was favored as a successor by his father and his older sister, Princess Jahanara Begum. In the war of succession which ensued after Shah Jahan's illness in 1657, Dara was defeated by his younger brother Prince Muhiuddin (later, Emperor Aurangzeb). He was executed in 1659 on Aurangzeb's orders in a bitter struggle for the imperial throne.

Dara was a liberal-minded unorthodox Muslim as opposed to the orthodox Aurangzeb; he authored the work The Confluence of the Two Seas, which argues for the harmony of Sufi Philosophy in Islam and Vedanta Philosophy in Hinduism. A great patron of the arts, he was also more inclined towards philosophy and mysticism rather than military pursuits. The course of the history of the Indian subcontinent, had Dara Shikoh prevailed over Aurangzeb, has been a matter of some conjecture among historians.

Credit: Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1911.

Genres: Miniatures (Illuminations) 17th century. Paper (fiber product) Cardboard. Single leaves.

Notes: Ms. Mughal miniature; illuminated ca. 1631-1635, with painting extensions and border added ca. 1750-1800.

Artist: attributed here to Hashim.

Provenance: Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) from Charles Hercules Read in 1911; J.P. Morgan (1867-1943).

Associated Names: Hāshim, active 1631-1635.

Read, Charles Hercules, Sir, 1857-1929, former owner. Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.

Morgan, J. P. (John Pierpont), 1867-1943, former owner.

Cite as: Pierpont Morgan Library. MS M.458.6. 

Publications on: Islamic and Indian manuscripts and paintings in the Pierpont Morgan Library / Barbara Schmitz.

New York: The Library, 1997, no. 50, p. 148; figure 212; plate 30.

Subjects: Dara Shikuh, Prince, son of Shahjahan, Emperor of India, 1615-1659. 1631-1635

Dept./Collection: Pierpont Morgan Library Dept. of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.

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Ismail Mazari

average rating is null out of 5

Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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