© The Chester Beatty Library

Name of Object:

Asaf Khan Wearing a Portrait Miniature


Dublin, Ireland

Holding Museum:

The Chester Beatty Library


Hegira c. 1023–24 / AD 1615

Type of object:

Single-page drawing

Museum Inventory Number:

CBI In 45.2

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Brush drawing


16.1 x 7.5 cm

Period / Dynasty:





Asaf Khan (d. 1641) was an important individual at the Mughal court. His father was Jahangir’s wakil (prime minister); he was the brother of Jahangir’s favourite wife Nur Jahan; his daughter was Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s favourite wife and the woman for whom he built the Taj Mahal; and he served as Shah Jahan’s wakil. Jahangir was fond of giving his nobles portrait miniatures of himself which they wore, as does Asaf Khan in this drawing, as a mark of his affection but also as a sign of their loyalty to him. The upper portion of the drawing is more highly finished than the rest of it in order to draw attention to the figure’s head, and for this same reason the white of the eye is the only bit of the drawing that has been coloured.

Citation of this web page:

 "Asaf Khan Wearing a Portrait Miniature" in Explore Islamic Art Collections , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;EPM;ir;Mus21;46;en&id=prints_and_drawings

MWNF Working Number: IR 46

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