Ibrahim 'Adil Shah II, the sixth Sultan of the 'Adilshah dynasty, was a great patron of the arts and ruled Bijapur from 1590-1626. This fine portrait of him is ascribed to Hashim, a leading Mughal portraitist active between 1620-60. Stuart Cary Welch described an extremely similar portrait, also signed by Hashim, from the Shah Jahan album in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He wrote, "few Mughal artists equaled Hashim in depicting dignified, solidly grounded figures, weighty as the Deccani granite of Daulatabad Fort, moving with infinite authority at elephantine pace yet possessed of paradoxical grace" (184.108.40.206, Stuart Cary Welch, Annemarie Schimmel, Marie L. Swietochowski and Wheeler M. Thackston, The Emperor's Album. Images of Mughal India, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1987-88, pp.154). Hashim is known to have done portraits of a number of Deccani rulers, including Muhammad Qutb Shah and Malik 'Ambar, and he was for that reason for a time believed to have started work in the Deccan. Further research however now reveals that he specialized in portraits of foreign rulers and ambassadors, drawing them either from life or from existing portraits. A Deccani portrait of Ibrahim 'Adil Shah, dated to circa 1610-20 provides a possible model and definite predecessor for the Shah Jahan album portrait (sold Sotheby's, London, 17 October 1983, lot 29).
Although in the Shah Jahan album portrait Ibrahim 'Adil Shah faces in the opposite direction, in the very fine details, such as the jewelry he wears and the thickness his arm, it is almost identical. It is possible that our miniature was copied from that or straight from a Deccani source to which the artists of the Shah Jahan portrait was also exposed.
Another very similar portrait, although not signed, was part of the collection of Malcolm R. Fraser, sold at Sotheby's, London, 14 October 1980, lot 190. For other, unrelated, portraits of Ibrahim 'Adil Shah, as well as a discussion of his patronage of the arts, see Mark Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, London, 1983, pp.67-121).