Bishan Das, Prince Babur arriving at Andijan; page from a Baburnama manuscript Enlarge 1 /1

Bishan Das

India 1550 /1590 – 1648 /1652

Artist's cultural association:
Mughal dynasty, Akbar period (1556-1609)
Prince Babur arriving at Andijan
page from a Baburnama manuscript
[Prince Babur at Andijan] c. 1590
Collection Title: The Memoirs of Babur [Baburnama] manuscript
Place made: Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Materials & Technique: paintings, opaque watercolour, gold and ink Support: paper

Primary Insc: Inscription below 3 lines of Persian text almost certainly added by a librarian in the imperial atelier rather than by the artist. 3 lines of Persian text enclosed at the bottom right of page. Verso: 14 lines of text translation of text occurs: page 29, line four, onwards, of Babur, Zahir ad-Din Muhammad, Baburnama, tr. A.S. Beveridge New Delhi, Oriental Book
Dimensions: painting 24.4 h x 14.6 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1989
Accession No: NGA 89.348
  • The supplied chain of ownership for this object is being reviewed and further research is underway. The provenance information listed has been substantiated by documentation. Details may be refined and updated as research progresses. (added 2016)
  • in the collection of Khan Monif, New York (details to be confirmed)
  • in the Beacon collection, Chicago (details to be confirmed)
  • sold through Sotheby's auction, New York, 25 March 1987
  • with art dealer, New York, after 1987
  • who sold it to the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1989

The first Mughal emperor, Babur (1483–1530, ruled 1526–1530), conquered Delhi and Agra in 1526 and established the dynasty that went on to rule most of India. His autobiography, the Baburnama or Book of Babur, chronicles his life and achievements. Several finely illustrated Baburnama were created during the reign of Babur’s grandson Akbar (1542–1605, ruled 1556–1605). Akbar was a great patron of art and manuscripts are part of his legacy.

This page is among the earliest illustrated by the great Mughal painter Bishan Das (active 1590–1640). It depicts an event of 1494, when the young Babur prayed at the fortified town of Andijan, his birthplace, after hearing of his father’s death. The prince appears on horseback, accompanied by servants with bows and arrows.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label