Adham Khan pays homage to Akbar at Sarangpur, 1561
from the Akbarnama


A larger image of Adham Khan pays homage to Akbar at Sarangpur, 1561, Akbarnama


by Khem Karan, c. 1590-95, (watercolor on paper, 33.5 x 19.9 cm.), Victoria and Albert Museum, London
It depicts Adham Khan, who had been given charge of an expedition to conquer Malwa in north central India for his foster-brother, the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605). Adham Khan is shown submissively paying homage to Akbar at Sarangpur in 1561, following his attempts to subvert the emperor’s authority.


Physical description: Painting, in opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Adham Khan paying homage to Akbar at Sarangpur, Central India, in 1560 or 1561.
Place of Origin: Mughal Empire
Date: ca. 1590-95
Artist/maker: Khim Karan (maker)
Materials and Techniques: Painted in opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Marks and inscriptions: Khem Karan [composed and painted by] Khem Karan. Contemporary librarian's attributions in Persian, in red ink in the margin below the painting
Dimensions: Height: 33.6 cm, Width: 20.1 cm
Object history note:
The Akbarnama was commissioned by the emperor Akbar as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written in Persian by Abu'l Fazl between 1590 and 1596 and is thought to have been illustrated between ca.1592 and 1594 by at least forty-nine different artists from Akbar's studio. After Akbar's death in 1605, the manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) and later that of Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658). The Museum purchased it in 1896 from Mrs Frances Clarke, the widow of Major General Clarke, who had been the Commissioner in Oudh province between 1858 and 1862.

Historical significance: It is thought to be the first illustrated copy of the Akbarnama. It drew upon the expertise of some of the best royal painters of the time, many of whom receive special mention by Abu'l Fazl in the A'in-i-Akbari, the third book of the Akbarnama. The Persian inscriptions in red ink in the margin beneath the paintings name the artists.

Descriptive line: Painting, Akbarnama, Adham Khan pays homage to Akbar, by Khim Karan, opaque watercolour and gold on paper, Mughal, ca. 1590-95
Materials: Paper; Opaque watercolour; Paint; Gold
Techniques: Painted; Drawing

Source: Victoria and Albert Museum

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Mughal Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers in the Akbarnama




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