Muhammad Ibrahim, the Khan Alam
Artist/maker unknown, Indian
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Barely visible in the background, a great army marches at the command of Muhammad Ibrahim, who was given the title Khan Alam (Lord of the World). Once a senior official at the Mughal court, he switched his allegiance to the Rajput enemy he had been sent to subdue. This Kishangarh artist portrays Muhammad Ibrahim as a hero in the Rajput fight against Mughal domination, yet he paints the Khan Alam in a style and format firmly rooted in Mughal portraiture. The hips-and-above portrayal, the receding landscape, the varied palette, and the details of dress and pose are typical of paintings from the workshop of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (reigned 1658-1707). The abstraction of the figure's large forms and the thin application of paint, however, foreshadow the distinctive Kishangarh paintings of the following decades.