A Shankar Gujarati is referred to as having contributed to many major Imperial Akbar period manuscripts including the Darab-nama (circa 1580) in the British Library (Or. 4615), a Timur-nama (circa 1584) in the Khuda Baksh Public Library, Bankipore, where he is reported to have worked with Basawan, and a Babur-nama (circa 1591) in the British Library (Or.3714) (Milo Cleveland Beach, The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court, Washington D.C., 1981, pp. 215-222).??A Shankar is recorded as having worked with La'l, Mukund and Miskin on pages of the Victoria and Albert Akbarnama (circa 1590-95), published in Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor: The Art of the Book 1560-1660, London, 2002, pl. 32, p. 49 and Amina Okada, Imperial Mughal Painters, Paris, 1992, Nos. 14 and 139, p. 19 and 129.??By the late 16th century, it becomes clear that Shankar had begun to work on his own. One folio signed by him, from the Iyar-i Danish (circa. 1595), survives in the Chester Beatty Library (Linda York Leach, Mughal and other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library, London, 1995, No. 1.140, Painting No. 102, p. 89 - for another folio from that manuscript see lot 8). Two folios from another Akbarnama (circa. 1603-5) where he also appears to have worked single-handedly are also found in the Chester Beatty Library (Leach, op. cit., No. 2.96 and 2.98, p. 246 and 248).??Three additional miniatures, signed Shankar, sold in the Sevadjian Collection II, Hotel Drouot, Paris, 20 March 1961, lots 89-91. Another sold in these Rooms, 17 April 2007, lot 213.
A number of miniatures from this copy of the Zafarnama are known. Two were offered at Sotheby's, 3 May 2001, lots 71 and 72 and another two 21 October 2001, lots 64 and 65. Most are now in private collections. Two are in the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University (2005.027) and in the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California (2009.17). Another is in the Eva and Konrad Seitz Collection (published John Seyller and Konrad Seitz, Mughal and Deccani Paintings, exhibition catalogue, Zurich, 2010, no.6, pp.42-44).