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    Sale 12471

    Arts of India

    26 May 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 60

    SULTAN IBRAHIM ADHAM VISTED BY ANGELS

    PROVINCIAL MUGHAL SCHOOL, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1730

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    SULTAN IBRAHIM ADHAM VISTED BY ANGELS
    PROVINCIAL MUGHAL SCHOOL, NORTH INDIA, CIRCA 1730
    Opaque pigments heightened with gold on paper, the holy man sits at the entrance of his cave, angels and devotees bring him food, dishes laid before him, the scene lit by the moon and two candles, birds and animals in the foreground, a lake with two ships in the background, mounted, framed and glazed
    Painting 8 1/8 x 5 3/8in. (20.5 x 13.6cm.); page 10 5/8 x 6 7/8in. (27.1 x 17.6cm.)


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    The subject of this miniature was a popular one in 18th century Mughal painting. Based on the legend by Farid al-Din 'Attar, Sultan Ibrahim bin Adham (d.776-77), gave up the Kingdom of Balkh to become a Dervish. He was visited by angels who bought him ten dishes of food inciting the jealousy of another poor dervish, also painted into some miniatures of this subject. One such miniature, attributed to the Lucknow/Faizabad artist Hunhar and dated circa 1760-70 is in the Polsky collection (Andrew Topsfield (ed.), In the Realm of Gods and Kings. Arts of India, London, 2004, no. 80, pp.196-97). Others, from Lucknow and Murshidabad respectively, are in the India Office Library (Toby Falk and Mildred Archer, Indian Miniatures in the India Office Library, London, 1981, nos.325 and 367) and in The St. Petersburg Muraqqa' (Milan, 1996, pl.90/f.53r). Another similar miniature, also attributed to Awadh, circa 1750, is published in Patrick Carré, Dieux, tigres et amours. Miniatures indiennes du XVe au XXe siècle, Spain, 1993, pp.112-113.

    Many of these paintings share the fact that they are dependent on European imagery for the figures depicted, probably based on a now lost 17th century version of the subject where Ibrahim was derived from a figure of Christ as depicted in the 'Poor Man's Bible' of 1593 which arrived in the Mughal court in 1595 (op.cit., Milan, 1996, p.81).

    Provenance

    Acquired from Colnaghi, London, 5 June 1979


    Literature

    Toby Falk and Simon Digby, Paintings from Mughal India, Colnaghi, exhibition catalogue, London, 1979, cat. 24, pp.52-53.


    Exhibited

    Paintings from Mughal India, London, 1979, cat. 24