Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Portrait of a Mughal Nobleman, folio from the Salim Album
Work Type
album folio
c. 1580-85
Creation Place: South Asia, India
Mughal period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
image with border: 23.3 x 15 cm (9 3/16 x 5 7/8 in.)
Stuart Cary Welch (by 1969 - 2008,) by descent; to his estate (2008-2009,) gift; to Harvard Art Museum.

Object was part of temporary loan to Museum in 1969.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Gift of Edith I. Welch in memory of Stuart Cary Welch
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Against a minimally-suggested landscape is a Mughal nobleman, distinguished by his pearl earring and fine dress. He wears a green turban, a white robe (jama), a waist sash (patka), a translucent white shawl with a decorated border around one shoulder, and green slippers. Tucked into his waist sash is a large punch dagger (katar) with a blue sheath. The nobleman has a large mustache. On his right thumb he wears an archer’s ring. Archer’s rings were worn to protect the inside of the thumb in Indian archery, as the thumb hooks around the bowstring. However, archer’s rings that were made of precious materials, like jade, were worn to denote one’s status. Pasted above and below the painting are two blocks, each consisting of Persian calligraphy written in nasta‘liq script. The pasted inner border is a blue-dyed paper decorated with gold flowers, which is followed by another border of cream-colored paper decorated with large gold floral and geometric shapes.
Publication History

Stuart Cary Welch, Imperial Mughal Painting, George Braziller (New York, 1978), pp. 21 - 23; p. 24, fig. IV; p. 38

Elaine Wright, Muraqqa': Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, exh. cat., Art Services International (Alexandria, VA, 2008), p. 58, fig. 22; p. 61; p. 62; p. 457 no. 21

Exhibition History

Portraiture in Iran and India, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 12/09/1983 - 02/01/1984

32Q: 2590 South and Southeast Asia, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/26/2016 - 11/02/2016

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at