This fine portrait relates to the famous miniature from the St. Petersburg Muraqqa of Ibrahim 'Adil Shah II hawking, attributed to Husayn Farrukh Beg (assisted by Muhammad 'Ali). Both Farrukh Beg and Muhammad'Ali were émigré Persians who found favour at the Mughal and Deccani courts. Farrukh Beg worked in the ateliers of the Emperor Akbar (1557-1605), his son Jahangir (1605-1628) - who gave Farrukh Beg the title Nader al-Zaman (Wonder of the Age) - and Sultan Ibrahim. Zebrowski refers to the St. Petersburg portrait as 'undoubtedly the most poetic Bijapuri portrait to have survived' (Mark Zebrowski, Deccani Painting, London, 1983, pl.IX, p.92-93).
Zebrowski goes on to describe the work of the artist, who he refers to as the Leningrad painter. He defines his work as being in the in the Islamic mode and as using sweeping calligraphic contours and paradisicial settings (Zebrowski, op.cit., p.93-94). The Islamic mode is certainly visible here, with the rocky landscape that would be at home in a Safavid miniature and the face that is Mongol in type. The horse that our young falconer is mounted on is very similar to Farrukh Beg's. Not only is it depicted in the same posture - lunging forward, mid gallop - but it also shares details such as its very rounded body and long, slightly stylized face. It seems likely that our artist was a close follower of the 'wonder of the age'.