Lot 335. An angel holding orb and book painting, Attributed to Abu'l Hasan 'Nadir Al-Zaman', Mughal India, circa 1610-15; Calligraphy signed 'Abd al-Rahim al-Haravi, dated AH 1001 / 1592-93 AD. Painting 3 7/8 x 2 ¼ ins. (10 x 5.6 cm.); folio 16 ¾ x 11 ¼ ins. (42.7 x 28.6 cm.). Estimate USD 70,000 - USD 100,000. Price realised USD 150,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019
Opaque pigments and gold on paper, verso with four lines of nasta’liq calligraphy reserved in clouds among gold floral sprays, signed ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Harawi and dated AH 1001/1592-93 AD.
Provenance: Mughal Imperial Collection
Raja Jai Singh of Amber (r.1699-1743)
Mewar Royal Collecton
Sven Gahlin Collection, acquired in London, 1988; sold Sotheby’s, London, 6 October 2015, lot 20.
Literature: Beach et al. 2011, pp. 215 and 222, fig.22
Ramaswarmy, Conceit of the Globe in Mughal Visual Practise, 2007.
Note: The artist, Abu’l Hasan was born in 1588 or 1589 and was active in the royal atelier from around 1600 until circa 1630. He was the son of Aqa Riza, of Herat and the brother of Abid. Of the three he is considered to have been the most skilled, and to have transcended them both. The Mughal Emperor Jahangir (r.1605-27), writing in the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, praises Abu'l Hasan (Nadir al-Zaman, ‘the Wonder of the Age’) above all other artists.
The renowned Mughal royal calligrapher 'Abd al-Rahim al-Haravi, from Herat, worked initially at the library-atelier of the great general and bibliophile 'Abd al-Rahim Khan-i Khanan. His earliest work in the imperial workshop is dated 1591 and he continued working during the reign of Jahangir until 1625. His father and grandfather were also both scribes. In 1604 ‘Abd al-Rahim was awarded the title 'Anbarin-qalam' ('Amber Pen' or 'Pen of Ambergris’).
Mughal miniatures are known to have been included in the Royal Mewar collection at Udaipur and section 17 comprised European subjects. The present painting was numbered 8 of 92 in the section.