barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Indian, Deccani School

Portrait of Sultan Ali Adil Shah II

India, 17th century

Coloured ink on paper and fabric

 

Painted in Bijapur by an unknown master, this jewel-like miniature depicts Sultan Ali Adil Shah II, who reigned between 1656 and 1672.  

Clad in a magnificent gold jama, which is decorated with emerald-green peacock ‘eyes’, he is shown at a window holding a large polished ruby.  He wears an ornate turban, necklaces and bracelets which, together with the imposing head and torso, enhance the impression of regal splendour.  Surrounding him is a decorative border of ornate arabesques, adding further to the radiance and sumptuousness of the portrait. Inscribed on the reverse of the miniature is the last verse of the Koran written in Arabic calligraphy and decorated with flowers in gold.

 

Purchased 1947 (No. 47.4)