May 14, 2013

Portrait of Prince Murad Baksh (1624–1661)

Portrait of Prince Murad Baksh (1624–1661)

c. 1655

Gum tempera and gold on paper

Overall: 20 x 12 cm (7 7/8 x 4 3/4 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1917.1066


This portrait depicts the Mughal prince Murad Baksh in his early 30s, at the height of his power and promise. He wears a golden coat of honor with fur collar and the swords and shield of a military officer. As the youngest son of Emperor Shah Jahan, he was intimately involved in the struggles for succession. In 1658, he sided with his brother Aurangzeb (1618–1707) against their eldest brother, the crown prince, whom they defeated in a decisive battle that led to the crown prince’s eventual assassination in 1659. Aurangzeb then turned on his youngest brother, Murad Baksh himself, and had him imprisoned and finally executed in 1661.

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