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Folio from an illustrated history of Mughal emperors: Shah Jahan (r.1628-58). Delhi, circa 1860. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli. Folio 30.9 x 19.5cm; image 16.3 x 9.6cm
Sets such as this was once part were popular with wealthy Europeans who wished to have them as momentos of their stay in India, and also with the people of Delhi for whom they served to meet a nostalgia for former glories, before the sack of Delhi by Nadir Shah in 1739 and the subsequent dissolution of the empire. The style represents a final phase of Mughal art which by this time had become modified to suit the tastes of European patronage.
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Above and below: gilt detail reflecting light
Images and text © Peter Blohm