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Asaf Khan ?Enlarge image

Asaf Khan ?, c. 1650

Unknown (Indian, Imperial Mughal - c. 1650)

opaque watercolour on laminated paper
21.7 x 10.5 cm
Gift of Max Tanenbaum, Toronto, 1979
National Gallery of Canada (no. 23565)

This very fine portrait is somewhat compromised by the overpainted background. The sitter, a member of Jahangir's court, remains unknown. On the belt is inscribed the name of the painter, Nadir al-Zaman ("the Wonder of the World"), the honorific title given by Jahangir to Abul Hasan, his favourite artist. Born in c. 1558-59 as the son of the painter Aqa Riza of Herat, Abul Hasan was familiar with European painting.

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