$2.4m life-size 'wonder of the age' Mughal portrait comes to auction

The world's largest known Mughal painting is set for auction at Bonhams for an estimated £1m to £1.5m. This unique work painted during the emperor's life is in the style of a European portrait of the early 17thcentury.

The portrait of Mughal emperor Jahangir, who ruled India between 1605-1627, is attributed to the Mughal artist Abul Hasan, known as Nadir al-Zaman or "wonder of the age".

The 210 by 141 cm portrait in gouache, heightened with gold leaf on a woven cotton canvas, shows the emperor seated on a European-style throne.

The life-size portrait could realise £1.5m

Alice Bailey, head of Indian and Islamic art at Bonhams, commented: "This is one of the rarest and most desirable 17thcentury paintings ever to come to auction.

"There is no other work of its kind known and its importance cannot be underestimated. The extraordinary detail and complexity of the painting both fascinate and bewitch the viewer."

The work was previously shown in the National Portrait Gallery during 2010 and joins a gilt bridle once owned by Tipu Sultan, the sultan of Mysore in the 18th century, as an item of note for investors at the April 5 sale.


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