Yahangir with a portrait of his father Akbar

Yahangir with a portrait of his father Akbar
Yahangir with a portrait of his father Akbar

The Mongol Empire reached its height during the second half of the 16th century, during the reign of Akbar, promoter of some of the best works bequeathed by that culture, such as the Great Mosque of Fatehpur Sikri.


Jahangir with a portrait of his father Akbar

Akbar himself declared his sonSalim, whose surname wasYahangir(the conqueror of the world) as heir. However, his offspring did not want to wait for his father's death to take possession of the kingdom. So taking advantage of Akbar's absence, he rebelled against his power. Although he failed in his attempt, being forced to flee.

Anyway, his father tried to reconcile and although it wasn't easy, with the passage of time he succeeded. For this reason, Jahangir ended up ascending the throne in 1605. And although it was not known at the time, that was going to be a wrong decision, since in addition to having an overly ambitious character, over the years he also showed too much fondness for alcohol. and opium, so his wife and in-laws gradually stripped him completely of his power.

Although before that, around 1615, he had this portrait made next to the bust of his father. A work made with watercolor, gouache and gold highlights on paper, which today is kept by the Musée Guimet in Paris specializing in oriental works.

Somehow this portrait isa sign that the world was increasingly connected (already at the beginning of the 17th century), since the image shows us an evolution with respect to the art of the Indian miniaturists. There are elements that are European influence, which came to be known in the Mongol territories of India through Persia. In fact, even the chronicles say that European art was very much liked by the Mongol court, since it could be seen that they were capable of expressing moods in many ways.

However, although the western influence is clear in the type of image, there are also ornamental elements characteristic of the Hindu tradition.

In this case, we see that Jahangir had himself portrayed with the effigy of his dead father. And in some way to record that the confrontations of the past had been completely overcome. Although, at the same time, this presentation served to legitimize his power, increasingly criticized due to his vices.

The truth is that, fortunately, Jahangir was gradually stripped of all sovereignty, thus preventing the end of the Mongolian multicultural empire, which had yet to leave us wonderful works of art. And among all of them, the architecture of the Taj Mahal stands out, which was to be built a few years later in the vicinity of the capital of the Empire, the city of Agra.

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