Arts of the Book: Illustrated Texts, Miniatures
Portrait Of The Nawab Mirza Muhammad Baqir And His Young Son Mirza Husayn
Safavid, dated 1085 H/1674 CE
Materials and technique
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Page 42.1 x 29.2 cm; Image 13.6 x 24 cm
This is a double portrait of a government dignitary, Mirza Muhammad Baqir, and his son, Mirza Husayn, signed by the eminent Safavid painter, Mu'in Musavvir. The nawab is most likely to be identified as the munajjim bashi, or chief astrologer, under the Safavid Shah Sulayman (Francis Richard, Raphaël du Mans: missionnaire en Perse au XVIIe s. [Paris, 1995], vol. II, p. 270). He would have been in a position to commission this double portrait of himself and his son wearing sumptuous garments in a learned atmosphere complete with accoutrements for writing. Mirza Muhammad Baqir’s robe of Indian silk with tulips on white ground reflects the normalisation of trade relations with India by the 1670s. It is possible that Indian textiles such as this were sold in Iran or made intentionally for the export market (Canby 1998, p. 87).
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