Muhammad Murad Bakhsh (1624-1661) was the third and youngest son of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-58) by his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal. He was sent out to govern various provinces of the Mughal Empire including an appointment to the Deccan in from July 1648 until September 1649. It is probable that this portrait was painted during this period. A very similar jaroka-style profile portrait of Aurangzeb in the Hodgkin Collection is painted with the same finesse and soft tones on a monochrome background, with floral borders below. That is attributed by Navina Haidar to Aurangabad circa 1650, (Navina Najat Haidar, ‘Otherworldly India: Arts of the Deccan Sultans, circa 1500-1750, in ‘Arts of Asia, vol. 45, no. 1, January-February 2015, no. 8, p. 67 and Andrew Topsfield, Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin, exhibition catalogue, Oxford, 2012, no.17, pp.56-7). This portrait of Murad Bakhsh and the Hodgkin portrait of Aurangzeb follow in a tradition of similar royal portraits which were produced in Bijapur. A very closely related portrait of Sultan Adil Shah (r.1627-56) attributed to the artist Muhammad Khan is in the British Museum, dated by Mark Zebrowski to the mid-17th century, (Inv. 1937, 4-1004; Mark Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, London, 1983, no.98, p. 130). Early portraits of Murad Bakhsh are very rare. The years following our portrait were politically very tumultuous. Murad Bakhsh initially sided with his brother Aurangzeb to defeat their older brother Dara Shikoh in the succession crisis that was prompted by their father Shah Jahan falling ill in 1657. He was later betrayed by Aurangzeb and after spending three years in prison he was executed in 1661.