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After a portrait by Muhammad Azim: A lady meant to be Shaukat Begum, perhaps the granddaughter of Akbar II. 'Company School' at Delhi, circa mid-19th century. Opaque watercolour with gold on wasli. 29.8cm x 21.5cm
Previously this appeared to me to be a portrait if Mumtaz Mahal which is how the painting was described both here on this website and in its subsequent sale description. Since then I have come across what is surely the original composition, a painted watercolour on ivory. However there is no firm evidence that the painting on ivory now in the British Library is indeed of the granddaughter of Akbar II. Here we have a stereotypical example demonstrating why inscriptions on Indian miniatures must be taken with utmost caution, so many being without proof and many clearly the result of flights of fancy.
The original can be seen here: Shaukat Begum by Muhammad Azim
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Above: gilt detail reflecting light
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