Kesu Kalan, to whom the grisaille miniature on this album page is ascribed, was also known as Kesu the Elder. His name often appears Kesu, as here, or Kesu Das. He was one of the more prominent painters of Akbar's atelier. He could paint in the more standard Akbari mould, and in this style made contributions to the Victoria and Albert Museum Akbarnama (circa. 1590). He is however perhaps best known for his (often highly coloured) copies of European engravings. The resulting studies, in particular of the human anatomy represent a departure from the Persianate cannon of aesthetics. Perhaps because of this he was also one of Jahangir's favourite early artists (Linda York Leach, Mughal and other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library, London, 1995, p. 152).
Examples of Kesu Das' work after the European mode include a signed painting of St Jerome (circa 1580-85) in the Musée Guimet (see Amina Okada, Imperial Mughal Painters, Paris, 1992, pl.100, p.97); an album leaf with a miniature of the Cruxifiction ascribed to him in the British Museum (illustrated in J.M.Rogers, Mughal Miniatures, London, 1993, pl.44, p.68); a signed painting from the story of Joseph in the Chester Beatty Library, and another one ascribed to him in the St. Louis Art Museum (op cit. pls.110,111, the former also in Leach, op.cit., pl.1.233, p.136, and in Milo Cleveland Beach, The Grand Mogul: Imperial Painting in India 1600-1660, Williamstown, 1978, pl.10 recto, p.54). The earlier European engraving prototype for the St. Louis is known.