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Shuja-ud-Daula, Nawab of Awadh (6125081062)


Shuja-ud-Daula, Nawab of Awadh (6125081062)



Display Artist: Mihr Chand
Creation Date: ca. 1775
Creation Place/Subject: India
State-Province: Uttar Pradesh
Court: Mughal
School: Late Mughal
Media & Support: Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Display Dimensions: 9 23/32 in. x 5 9/32 in. (24.7 cm x 13.4 cm)
Credit Line: Edwin Binney 3rd Collection
Accession Number: 1990.413
Collection:" The San Diego Museum of Art</a>
Label Copy:
Later Mughals Installation
August 2003
Portraiture remained in demand among sub-Imperial patrons, but was generally more direct and less emblematic. This portrait is a depiction of the powerful Nawab of Avadh, Shuja ud-daulah (ruled 1754-1775), one hand on a dagger, the other on a sword. He is the ruler to whom the Mughal heir Shah Alam turned for refuge during the clash of the Marathas and the Afghans in Delhi. During the Nawabs twenty-year reign, he attracted painters and men of letters to his court, including western painters.
Westernization of style is evident in the frontal view of his face (although the body is shown in three-quarters view), the naturalistic shading in the folds of his garment, and the very deliberate, if clumsy, recession in the geometries of the carpet. There is a loss of precision in technique and an of interest in rendering visual impressions rather than complete, minute details, seen for example, in the pattern in the Nawabs slippers.
August 2008
Emerging Elites
This wealthy and powerful Nawab, lord or governor in the Urdu language, was from 1753 until 1775 a de facto independent ruler of the region known then as Awadh, a large territory in northern India essentially spanning the modern state of Uttar Pradesh. Both a patron of the arts and an able administrator, Shuja-ud-Daula maintained a vital painting atelier at his court and managed delicate political relations with the Muslim Afghans to the north, the Hindu Marathas to the west, and the British, who had gained control of Bengal to the east.
Recognizing that portrait painting was a mark of prestige among Europeans, Shuja-ud-Daula invited the English academic portraitist Tilly Kettle (173586) to come to his court at Faizabad to produce oil paintings of him and his family. Indian artists in the Nawabs employ, who had been working in the imperial Mughal style, were intrigued by Kettles work and made copies on paper of his oil paintings, of which this is one example.

Tilly Kettle (Gran Bretaa, 173586), Shuja-ud-Daula, Nawab de Oudh, con su hijo, Asaf-ud-Daula. leo sobre lienzo, Faizabad, 1772. Coleccin del Muse de Versailles, no. MV. 3888.





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