Few details are known of the life of the artist Shaykh 'Abbasi, whose dated works show him as being active during the reigns of Shah 'Abbas II and Shah Sulayman. His style is characterised by the use of pointillism for shading and creating volume in figures, but also by his choice of subjects. There is no evidence that he worked in India yet he is the artist most often associated with the blending of Indian and Persian painting, and he frequently chose Indian men and women as his subjects. A similar portrait by Shaykh Abbasi sold in these Rooms, 10 October 2006, lot 138. The resemblence between the landscapes in the two works as well as the men depicted is remarkable.
Other examples of Shaykh 'Abbasi's work are in the Art and History Trust Collection (Abolala Soudavar, Art of the Persian Courts, New York, 1992, nos.146, 147, pp.367-8), the Musée Guimet, Paris, 7166 (Mark Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, London, 1983, p.197) and in the collection of the late Edwin Binney III, (Islamic art from the collection of Edwin Binney III, Washington, 1966, no.53). Another miniature by Shaykh 'Abbasi was sold in these Rooms, 14 October 2003, lot 133.