Court Paintings from Persia and India 1500–1900

J.P Losty, 2016
Catalogue, 106 pages
Publisher: Francesca Galloway Ltd
ISBN: 9780956914750
Dimensions: 31.5 x 24.5 cm

It is with great pleasure that we present a group of Persian and Indian paintings. Although we are widely known for our expertise in Indian paintings we have over the years handled outstanding Persian folios. This latest selection of Persian paintings contains pages from the 16th and 17th centuries and includes several important manuscript pages as well as drawings to which Persian taste was increasingly turning at this time. There are pages from royal manuscripts believed to have been created for Shah Isma'il II (cat. 3) and Shah 'Abbas I (cat. 5), as well as pages from two important Shahnama manuscripts from Shiraz (cats 1 & 2). There are also several drawings including a fine early drawing of figures in a landscape c. 1575 (cat. 9) and an exquisite drawing of a young simurgh (cat. 7). This Persian taste for individual drawings in the early 17th century was certainly felt also in India and especially in Golconda. Pride of place among the Indian rarities must go to a previously unknown painting from Golconda (cat. 11) that has been in a private German collection since the early 20th century. Datable to 1630-40, rather than simply being under the influence of the latest Persian style from Isfahan, the artist attempts to imitate the style of Riza-yi 'Abbasi himself.

Also of great rarity is an exquisite Mughal painting from the 1640s of a prince making ardent advances to a lady (cat. 17), which may actually represent the young Aurangzeb himself. Other Mughal miniatures include a beautiful depiction of a Christian saint attributed to Basawan (cat. 12) and a fine tinted drawing of Akbar on an elephant teasing his attendant soldiers (cat. 14). Among the Rajput miniatures is a fine drawing of Maharaja Bakhat Singh attributed to Dalchand c. 1725 (cat. 19), an important portrait from Guler c. 1765-70 of Raja Kirat Prakash (cat. 31) and an early Mankot drawing of a yogi (cat. 28). Among the later material, there is an exquisite drawing of a rock thrush from Lady Impey's collection attributed to Shaikh Zain al-Din (cat. 37).