Enter GALLERIES to browse paintings
The description in English of the painting on this webpage is definitive. Any translation using Google translate is a guide only - its accuracy cannot be guaranteed and it is used at your own risk.
Portrait of Hazrat Bahawar-ud-din ji reading the Quran. Bikaner, circa mid-17th century. Nim kalam on warqa. 15.7 x 12.7cm
Inscribed on the verso in devanāgarī and front in nastaliq scripts: hazrat ur baha wa ud din ji
The elegantly attired sufi, with a chaddar draped over his shoulders, sits on a floral edged kora mat, against an embroidered bolster counting his tasbi (prayer beads) while he reads a passage from the holy Koran placed on a rehal (book stand).
This nim kalam is an example of the Safavid style fusing with the early Bikaner tradition. It is probable this painting was produced within the workshop at Bikaner to be given to a member of the Usta family who followed the teachings of this sufi. Since the Usta family trace their lineage to Herat this painting and other similar images from the Bikaner workshop clearly show the roots of their religious and artistic heritage as coming out of the Safavid traditions of the late 15th and 16th century. A work from Ahmadnagar (Deccan) of a similar theme, though executed in a very different style, shows the popularity of this subject2. This piece, early in the tradition of Bikaner nim kalam, is highlighted with soft translucent pastel pink, green and blue watercolors in the bolster and kora mat border.
With thanks to the kindness of Shanane Davis for information below my brief description.
Images and text © Peter Blohm