Anonymous: A Mughal prince with his Beloved (1st half of 18th century)

(The David Collection, Copenhagen, Denmark)

a miniature made by an unknown Indian artist. This piece is a painting on a cardboard and comes from the city of Jaipur or Amer in Rajasthan, India. Who the man and woman are is not exactly known but it is proposed that it is Dara Shukoh (1615-1659), Crown Prince of the Mughal Empire, and his wife Nadira Banu Begum (1618 – 1659) - the golden ring around the man indicates that he is of royal blood. Dara Shukoh was the eldest son and heir-apparent of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (the mughal emperor who build the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. When Shah Jahan fel ill in 1657, a civil war erupted between the 4 sons of Jahan. Jahan himself favored his eldest son Dara Shukoh as his successor but Aurangzeb, brother of Dara Shukoh, managed to defeat his rival. Dara Shukoh was executed by Aurangzeb who also deposed his father Shah Jahan and had him confined at the Agra fort where he was able to gaze upon the Taj Mahal, his wife’s tomb, for the remainder of his days. Painting from the 1st half of 18th century.