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Emperor Babur Receiving a Visitor", Folio from a Baburnama (The Book of Babur)

December 31, 1555
The Met Museum
Akbar 1556–1605

Emperor Babur Receiving a Visitor", Folio from a Baburnama (The Book of Babur)



Emperor Babur Receiving a Visitor", Folio from a Baburnama (The Book of Babur) ca. 1590 The memoirs of Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire, were translated from the original Turki into Persian under the patronage of Babur’s grandson Akbar, who held a strong interest in the history and literary culture of his empire. In this scene, Babur stands as a visitor bows before him. Courtiers and attendants wear daggers in their sashes that provide a record of courtly fashions and accessories of the time. The fly whisk in the hand of an attendant, the carpet on which the figures stand, and the tent overhead also provide a glimpse into the opulent settings of royal life. Geography: Made in present-day Pakistan, probably Lahore Medium: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Dimensions: Page: H. 14 in. (35.6 cm) W. 9 in. (22.8 cm) Painting (with margins): H. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm) W 5 13/16 in. (14.7 cm) Painting: H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm) W. x 4 15/16 in. (12.6 cm) Classification: Codices Credit Line: Louis V. Bell Fund, 1967 Accession Number: 67.266.4 Catalogue Entry The Emperor Babur Receiving a Visitor The emperor Akbar followed the tradition of his Mongol and Timurid ancestors in commissioning profusely illustrated manuscripts of historical works, from the traditional Islamic world histories to the chronicles of specific events of an individual reign, whether his own or that of the founder of the Mughal dynasty, his grandfather Babur. Babur's revealing memories are not the usual commissioned histories written in Persian, the literary language of the court, but rather, a personal narrative in the everyday language of the Timurids—Chaghatay or Eastern Turkish. During Akbar's reign it was translated into Persian and given the title of Baburnama. The painting retains traces of Safavid Persian influences, especially in the textile pattern of the blue and gold canopy, with its delicate design of flying birds, including a simurgh, and of a running deer against a background of flowering tendrils. However, the handling of spatial depth within the royal tent enclosure is a particularly Mughal development, as is the suggestion of portraiture in the faces—not only Babur's but many of the courtiers' as well, such as that of the visitor in his act of obeisance and the profiles of the two figures in the center foreground. The artist Madhu is mentioned by Abu'l Fazl, Akbar's biographer, as one of the court painters. Other leaves of the same manuscript are in private collections and in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Marie Lukens Swietochowski in [Berlin 1981] Provenance Hagop Kevorkian, New York (until d. 1962; his estate sale, Sotheby's, London,December 6, 1967, no. 113, to MMA) References "The Property of the Kevorkian Foundation, December 6, 1967." In Highly Important Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures. London: Sotheby's, New York, 1967. no. 113, p. 37, ill. opp. p. 37 (b/w). "Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York." In The Arts of Islam. Berlin, 1981. no. 123, pp. 290–91, p. 291 (b/w). API Access The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can now connect to the most up-to-date data and images for more than 470,000 artworks in The Met collection. As part of The Met’s Open Access program, the data is available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.

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Ismail Mazari

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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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