Portrait of Shivaji Maharaj from the Witsen album with 49 miniatures of monarchs

Witsen’s collection included this album with portraits of successive rulers of the Mughal dynasty and beyond. The portraits were a source of knowledge for Witsen about the history of India. He even had the Persian inscriptions translated by Hendrick Francken, a minister who had worked for years in Smyrna (present-day Izmir). The miniatures were made in Golconda, where Indian miniaturists worked especially for Europeans who stayed there for the textile trade.

Watercolour on paper


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