Posted on: 2 April 2013

Opaque watercolour, a wrestler at Jahangir's court, Mughal, c. 1615

This painting from the collection of Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945) depicts a leading wrestler at the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). Jahangir's inscription to the right of the portrait identifies it as the work of the artist Manohar, and the subject as a court wrestler who had been given the honorific name 'Fil-e safid', or White Elephant.

Marks and inscriptions:
shabih-e fil-e safid kushti gir, amal-e manohar jahangir shahi Likeness of the wrestler 'white elephant', by [amal = work of] Manohar Jahangir Shahi, ie in the service of Jahangir.

Copyright: V&A Images


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