Posted on: 5 November 2012

Seated Youth, ca. 1600

Abu'l Hasan b. 1588 or 1589)
Mughal dynasty
Reign of Jahangir

Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
H: 12.4 W: 7.3 cm

Portraits of graceful young men reading or holding flowers are frequent in Iranian painting though rare in Mughal art. This drawing of an elegant youth is by the master painter Abu'l Hasan. Known as "Nadir-al-zaman" (Wonder of the Age), Abu'l Hasan was one of the finest painters of the Mughal emperor Jahangir's atelier.

Copyright © 2012 Smithsonian Institution

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That is beautifully drawn - and so evocative.

The date shown on the drawing is "23 Ramzaan '84", presumably corresponding to A.H. 984 (roughly 1584 A.D.). That would suggest the reign of Akbar, and the picture may well be of the young prince Saleem (later Emperor Jahangir).