Arts of the Book: Illustrated Texts, Miniatures
Pictorial Genealogy Of The Descendants Of Jahangir
Mughal, circa 1623-27 CE
Materials and technique
Ink, opaque watercolour, and gold on paper
Page 36.2 x 24.2 cm
Genealogical portraits and histories were used by the Islamic dynasties, particularly the Mughals and Ottomans, to reinforce their legitimacy and power. In this album page, the Mughal emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-27 CE) is located at the top of his “family tree.” He is linked by lines to four of his sons (from left, Khusraw, Jahandar, Shahriyar, and Sultan Parviz) and their sons. His Timurid ancestors are pictured beneath him in a reversal of genealogical order. The genealogies were rearranged and recomposed at some point. This is not unusual considering Jahangir’s other refurbishments of historical paintings, such as the Princes of the House of Timur (British Museum), which was probably a painting of a garden party of the Mughal emperor Humayun (r. 1530-56, CE with interruption) and his friends before Jahangir’s artists refashioned it into a Timurid-Mughal dynastic portrait.