• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7615

    Art of The Islamic And Indian Worlds

    7 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 223

    EQUESTRIAN PORTRAIT OF SULTAN ABU'L HASSAN QUTB SHAH

    GOLCONDA, 1672-80 AD

    Price Realised  

    EQUESTRIAN PORTRAIT OF SULTAN ABU'L HASSAN QUTB SHAH
    GOLCONDA, 1672-80 AD
    Gouache heightened with gold on paper, Abu'l Hassan Qutb Shah, wearing white and gold robes with floral design and similar turban, sits on his white horse against a green and foliate background, with stream in the foreground, above him an identification inscription, laid down on gold floral borders, the reverse with 9ll. of black naskh in cloud bands on gold ground, laid down between gold borders with red floral decoration on pink margins with repeating design of yellow flowers, mounted, framed and glazed
    13¾ x 9¾in. (34.6 x 24.5cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Sultan Abu'l Hassan's elevation to the throne in 1670, instated over the heir presumptive, brought in a tolerant and gentle ruler, who was interested in promoting the Telegu Hindu elements in his kingdom at the expense of the Muslim. He thus attracted the wrath of the very orthodox Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who in 1682 invaded the Deccan, ending its independance. In a well-known portrait formerly in the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection the Sultan is shown as a sympathetic aesthete, somewhat overweight, smiling as he smells a flower (Edwin Binney 3rd, Indian Miniature Painting from the Collection of Edwin Binney 3rd, Mughal and Deccani Schools, Portland, 1973, cat.137, pl.p.166). Here in contrast he is shown more thoughtful, more formal and powerful. The power is however somewhat undermined by the face of the very coy horse on which he is seated. This creation of an almost human expression on a horse is also found on a contemporary portrait of the Sultan's mentor, Shah Raja, painted by Rasul Khan (Mark Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, London, 1983, fig.161, p.196).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.