Posthumous Portrait Of Mughal Emperor Timur (Also Known As Tamerlaine) Seated On A Golden Throne. Deccan, Circa Late 18th Century.
Opaque watercolour with tooled gold on wasli (hand-made paper for miniature painting) with woven fabric applied as borders. 24.2 x 16.8cm.
The tooling of the gold leaf in this painting is more expertly done than is usual, with striations and pin-pricks around the outer band to the medallion around his neck, and with texture being applied to the entire surface of his tunic. This predominance of gold indicates the painting, which otherwise would be hard to determine whether of Mughal or Deccani school, is of the latter.
In Mughal paintings featuring Timur on the same throne it is not usually golden, but as ever such attributions may be open to doubt because Aurangzeb’s campaign to extend the Mughal empire ever-further south led to vast numbers of Rajasthani rulers and noblemen being stationed throughout northern parts of Deccan for many years. It is known that there they employed Deccani painters in their camps, some of who are believed to have followed them back to Rajasthan at the end of the campaign, with Hyderabad and Golconda in ruins and the Marathas in more or less continual plunder of the former Sultanates.
The iconography for this painting had become well established in the 18th century. Similar comparable examples may be found in Sotheby’s 26 4 1990 lot 5, ‘Mughal mid-17th century’; The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, ‘The emperor Timur enthroned’, MS. Douce Or. a.1;
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