The present drawing corresponds closely in size to others from the manuscript: it measures 21.5 by 13.3cm, exactly in the size range of the surviving illustrations. The manuscript is usually dated to 1602-03 based on two small inscriptions giving regnal year dates of Akbar’s reign. One appears on a folio in the British Library and the other on a folio in the Chester Beatty Library. There has been considerable discussion as to how to read these dates, and as well as the generally accepted 1602-03, a reading that gave a date of 1597-98 was proposed by Seyller in 1987. This latter dating was refuted by Leach in 1995 and recent publications have kept to the dating of 1602-03. For a detailed analysis and discussion of the manuscript see Leach 1995, vol.1, pp.232-294, particularly p.240 for the discussion of the dating; see also J. Seyller, 'Scribal Notes on Mughal Manuscript Illustrations', Artibus Asiae, 48, 1987, pp.261-2. 275; for a more recent discussion see Losty and Roy 2012, pp.58-69.
A notable aspect is the fact that Akbar is sitting on a European style chair. Chairs of this type began to appear in Mughal painting in the 1570s, derived from European prints brought to India by the Portuguese, with whom Akbar first had contact in 1573 (see Akbarnama, transl. H. Beveridge, vol.III, p.37). For early examples of this type of chair in Mughal miniatures see M. Rogers, Mughal Miniatures, London, 1993, p.84 (British Museum, inv. 1948.10-9,072); Sotheby’s, 6 April 2011 London (Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Part One), lot 89; https://www.davidmus.dk/en/collections/islamic/dynasties/mughal-india/art/miniature_opklaebet_paa_et_albumblad_ammende_prinsesse (David Collection, 55/2013); M. Brand and G. Lowry, Akbar’s India, New York, 1986, p.101.
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