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Akbar With Lion and Calf", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

April 26, 2023
Mirza Firuz Shah
Akbar 1556–1605



Title: "Akbar With Lion and Calf", Folio from the Shah Jahan 

Album Artist: Painting by Govardhan (active ca. 1596–1645) 

Calligrapher: Mir 'Ali Haravi (died ca. 1550)

Date: verso: ca. 1630;

Recto: ca. 1530–50

Geography: Attributed to India

Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Dimensions: H. 15 5/16 in. (38.9 cm) | W. 10 1/8 in. (25.7 cm) Classification: Codices

Credit Line: Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955

Accession Number: 

This posthumous portrait of Akbar incorporates the Elizabethan-derived motif of a lion and calf living in peace under the emperor’s benign rule. 

Govardhan, a master of psychological portraiture, has given the calf an air of meek nervousness, as expressed in its sideways glance and lowered ears, due no doubt to the proximity of the lion’s visible teeth. 

Cherubs above and a Netherlandish background add cosmopolitan touches in vogue at the time.

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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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