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Portrait of Awrangzib

The subject of this exquisite painting is Prince Awrangzib (1619–1707), the future Mughal ruler. With precise, tiny brushstrokes, the artist beautifully rendered Awrangzib’s silky beard and eyebrows, the gleaming pearls around his neck and on his turban, his gold-embroidered clothing, and the sumptuous silk and gold rug draped over the banister on which he leans. This miniature portrait was probably painted during one of the periods when Awrangzib served as the viceroy of the Deccan, a vast region of south-central India. It may have been part of a collection of images bound in a book or given as a gift to a local ruler.

Indian, Deccan
Portrait of Awrangzib
ca. 1650–55
Gouache on paper
3 5/16 x 2 in. (8.4 x 5.0 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 83.14