A PORTRAIT OF EMPEROR FARRUKHSIYAR
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A PORTRAIT OF EMPEROR FARRUKHSIYAR

MUGHAL STYLE AT KISHANGARH, ATTRIBUTABLE TO BHAVANI DAS AND ATELIER, INDIA, CIRCA 1720

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A PORTRAIT OF EMPEROR FARRUKHSIYAR
MUGHAL STYLE AT KISHANGARH, ATTRIBUTABLE TO BHAVANI DAS AND ATELIER, INDIA, CIRCA 1720
Gold and opaque pigments on paper, seated on a golden throne, facing right, he wears an elaborate bejewelled turban, his face nimbed with a gold halo, wearing multiple pearl necklaces, bracelets and bazubands over his gold woven jama, he holds a reed pen in his right hand and an orange folio in his left, his shield hung to the throne, before him an elaborate flower stand, four carpet weights lying on a yellow carpet, laid down on pink card with large gold speckles, the reverse with English, Persian and devanagari inscriptions
Painting 10 3/5 x 6 5/8in. (26.5 x 16.8cm.); page 16 ½ x 11in. (42 x 28cm.)
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Romain Pingannaud
Romain Pingannaud

Lot Essay

Another portrait of Emperor Farrukhsyar signed by the artist Bhavani Das was in the Francoise and Claude Bourelier Collection which sold at Artcurial, Paris, 4 November 2014, lot 243 (see Oliver Forge & Brendan Lynch catalogue, Indian Painting 1590-1880, 2015, cat.12). The present portrait, particularly the face and turban of the emperor, is almost certainly by the same hand. The exquisitely rendered face with highly curved brow, the curling facial hair below the emperor's ear, his profusely jewelled turban and pearl necklaces are very close to those appearing on the Bourelier portrait. The emperor shows here an air of contempt with gently smiling features that lacks the signed portrait where he stands in severe regal splendour. The robes of the emperor, his throne and the flower stand are more simply executed than the face however and might indicate that a second hand worked on this portrait whilst the accomplished artist painted the face.

Bhavani Das as well as the artist Dalchand moved to Kishangarh in the early 18th century where they worked. They were possibly introduced through one of Bahadur Shah’s wives, Amrit Bai Sahiba, the daughter of Maharaja Rup Singh of Kishangarh. For other portraits of Mughal emperors done or added to at Kishangarh, see F. Galloway catalogue 2008, Paintings from the Royal Courts of India, no.13 and 31and also Ehnbohm, The Ehrenfeld Collection, 1985, no. 28. See also the note to lot 11 in this sale.

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