Of the Pictures.

The specific dating of the original manuscript and of Mir Jā’afar Ali’s copy, and the clear later history of it have some bearing on any estimate that may be formed of the date and genuineness of the pictures. The subjects of these have been enumerated above, and three of them are marked with attributions to Sānwlah,* a well-known painter of Akbār’s time, to Govardhan,* and to Chitar­man,* both well-known painters of Jahāngir’s and Shāh­jahān’s times. This does not mean that, as in the case of European artists, the pictures are signed, but the legend ‘the work of Sānwlah’ (or Govardhan or Chitarman) is an attribution, presumably by the owner of the manuscript. So far as I have been able to secure any opinions of value regarding the attribution of the pictures the results are, it must frankly be confessed, not very favourable. The picture in the Persian style attributed to Chitarman (No. 5) is unlike that artist’s known work, and the same remark applies to the picture (No. 2) attributed to Govardhan. The artist of No. 3, however, is held to be the same as of No. 2, and of this there can be little doubt. The attribution of picture No. 1 to Sānwlah is held to be more probable, as it is in real Mogul style, though doubts are expressed as to its being of Akbār’s time. The picture No. 4 is held to be quite clearly of the early time of Akbār, done for a manuscript, but not the same manuscript as that for which Nos. 2, 3, and 5 were done.

I cannot set any artistic opinion of mine against these views, but, as already stated, weight should be given to the apparently trustworthy statements of the manuscript and to its connected history. There are also some other points to be taken into consideration before, if not the attributions, at any rate the dating of the pictures as contemporary with Mir Jā’afar Ali’s copy of the manuscript, can be set aside.

The legend on picture No. 1, whose attribution to Sānwlah is held more probable, is from Na’ui, a poet of Akbār’s time, who, though mentioned in the Ain-i-Akbari, was not widely known nor much read afterwards.

The legend of No. 4, which is held to be of Akbār’s early time, is a quotation, if not quite accurate, from the manu­script. The variation is in the use for ‘ulfat’, i. e. affection, of‘wafā’, i.e.faithfulness, which is the key-word of the whole manuscript, and the inscription is undoubtedly in the hand of Mir Jā’afar Ali, the copyist. It may be assumed, then, with safety that he inserted the picture in the manuscript and wrote on it the legend.

Picture No. 5 seems to have been cut out of its original setting and placed in a new one. The legend, again, is in Mir Jā’afar Ali’s hand and is a phrase, the key-phrase in­deed, of the manuscript, and both the legend and the artist’s name are on the picture itself. Here, again, it may be assumed that Mir Jā’afar Ali inserted this picture in his copy and further believed in the attribution to Chitarman.

These considerations should, I submit, be weighed before the attribution and the dating of the pictures are dis­regarded.

Which three pictures Mir Jā’afar Ali secured from the original manuscript cannot, of course, be stated, but there is some probability that he would try to secure those attributed to known artists, and as already pointed out No. 5 seems to have been cut out of another manuscript, inserted in this, and ascribed with the legend in Mir Jā’afar Ali’s hand. The third picture is a variant of the second, probably by the same artist. The fourth has no attribu­tion, but its date is unquestioned and it also has the legend in Mir Jā’afar Ali’s hand.