Payag: The Padshahnama plate 39; Mughal Emperor Jahangir presents Prince Khurram a turban ornament (1656-1657)

(Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK)

Another plate from the padshahnama (= 'Chronicle of the Emperor') of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (reign 1628-1658). The padshahnama shows important events from the life of Shah Jahan (the Mughal emperor who build the Taj Mahal for his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal). This picture shows an event before Shah Jahan was emperor. Central figure on the picture, seated on the throne is Mughal Emperor Jahangir (reign 1605-1627), the father of Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan was at this time known by his name prince Khurram. The plate shows 2 events in 1617. The first event is from October 1617 when Jahangir rewarded prince Khurram with the title Shah-Jahan (King of the World) for having returned victorious from a military campaign. The second event is from November 1617 when Jahangir gave prince Khurram a precious and important family jewel. From the words of Jahangir himself: "On this day I gave my son Shah-Jahan a flawless ruby...[Emperor Akbar's] mother gave me as a present at my birth. For years it was in his [Emperor Akbar's] turban band and thereafter I too kept it in my turban band for good luck...since it has been a good luck charm for this eternal dynasty, it was given to my son." Present at the scene are several important members of the Mughal court, including the Prime Minister I'timaduddawla and his son Asaf Khan, Shah-Jahan's father-in-law. The artist of the beautiful picture, known as Payag, is also present: he is in the bottom left-hand corner carrying a book. Manuscript from 1656-1657.

Another plate from this serie: The Padshahnama plate 17: Shah-Jahan receives the Persian ambassador, Muhammad-Ali Beg on 26 March 1631 (1656-1657)

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