Indian and Himalayan Art
Muhammad Ibrahim, the Khan AlamMade in Kishangarh, Rajasthan, India, Asia
Artist/maker unknown, India
Transparent and opaque watercolor, gold, and silver-colored paint on paper
Currently not on view
2004-149-44125th Anniversary Acquisition. Alvin O. Bellak Collection, 2004
LabelBarely 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.