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An elephant with rider, possibly the Emperor Akbar, Mughal, circa 1595-1610.
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A portrait of Emperor Akbar, North India, 19th century.
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Emperor Akbar holding the royal turban of Humayun, Mughal, Shah Jahan period, circa 1630-50.
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Akbar in old age resting with attendants in a palace garden, Mughal, circa 1600.
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By Manohar Das, also simply Manohar or Manuhar, (active 1582–1624) was an Indian Hindu painter in the Mughal style.
Manohar's father Basawan was a master painter in the Mughal emperor's court, where Manohar grew up. His father most likely instructed him, and later Manohar became a court painter as well. His earliest works were painted for Akbar, and then later he was in the service of Akbar's son and successor Jahangir.[1] Manohar's works frequently depicted the royal families and life at court. Some of his works can be found at the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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Emperor Akbar with a Courtier

This arresting portrait of Akbar in old age is probably circa of 1600-1605 date (i.e. late in his own life), rather than a posthumous portrait from Jahangir's reign. The style seems close to other single-figure portraits of the earlier period such as one of Zayn Khan Koka of circa 1590 date in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor. The Art of the Book 1560-1650, London, 2002, pl. 68), or one of Raisal Darbari of circa1600-1605 in the Chester Beatty Library (see Linda Leach, Mughal and Other Indian Paintings From the Chester Beatty Library, London, 1995, vol.1, col.pl.43) as well as portraits of Akbar himself such as two by Manohar of circa 1602-04 date showing Akbar with Murtaza Khan (Cincinnati Art Museum, see Stuart Cary Welch, India: Art and Culture, 1300-1900, New York, 1985, no.113; T. McInerney, "Manohar" in P. Pal (ed.), Master Artists of the Imperial Moghul Courts, Bombay, 1991, no.9; Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, see ibid., no.10). The courtier had previously been identified as Hakim Ali Gilani (Welch 1985) and Mirza Aziz Koka (McInerney 1991), but Leach has the most recent and firmest identification (Leach 1995, vol.I, p.333). In contrast, later portraits of Akbar executed during Jahangir's reign often show him apotheosised with halo and/or angels, or at least depicted with greater grandeur (see two in the Kevorkian Album, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Stuart Cary Welch et al, The Emperor's Album, New York, 1987, nos.9 and 11).


Attributed to Manohar
Opaque watercolor heightened with gold on paper
image 7 by 5 1/8 in. (17.3 by 13 cm)
folio 11 7/8 by 8 5/8 in. (30.2 by 22 cm) unframed
1600-1605
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Akbar riding an elephant outside a fortress, accompanied by mounted troops: an illustrated page from the Akbarnama, India, Mughal, circa 1604, mounted in a folio from the Farhang-i Jahangiri, circa 1608-23
gouache with gold on paper, miniature mounted in a folio from the Farhang-i Jahangiri with gold decorated borders of birds and beasts among foliage, reverse with 35 lines of text written in neat nasta`liq script in black and red, borders of cream paper with gold decoration of elephants among foliage
Miniature: 21.6 by 12.7cm.; Folio: 34.4 by 22.6cm
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The tomb of Akber was built by his son prince Salim i.e Jahangir. Akbar planned the tomb and selected a suitable site for it. After his death, Akbar's son Jahangir completed the construction in 1605–1613.[citation needed]
Akbar was one of the greatest emperors in the history of India. However, during the reign of His great-grandson, Aurangzeb, the rebellious Jats under the leadership of Raja Ram Jat, ransacked the intricate tomb, plundered and looted all the beautiful gold, jewels, silver and carpets, whilst destroying other things. He even, in order to avenge his father Gokula's death, plundered Akbar's tomb, looted it and dragged Akbar's bones and burned them in retaliation. He was later sentenced to death by Aurangzeb.[citation needed]

The Tomb suffered a lot, until extensive repair was carried out by the British under Lord Curzon. The neighbouring Taj Mahal was also looted, and two of Agra's gates were taken away.

It is located at Sikandra, in the suburbs of Agra, on the Mathura road (NH2), 8 km west-northwest of the city center. About 1 km away from the tomb, lies Mariam's Tomb, the tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani, wife of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and the mother of Jahangir.

The south gate is the largest, with four white marble chhatri-topped minarets which are similar to (and pre-date) those of the Taj Mahal, and is the normal point of entry to the tomb. The tomb itself is surrounded by a walled enclosure 105 m square. The tomb building is a four-tiered pyramid, surmounted by a marble pavilion containing the false tomb. The true tomb, as in other mausoleums, is in the basement.
The buildings are constructed mainly from a deep red sandstone, enriched with features in white marble. Decorated inlaid panels of these materials and a black slate adorn the tomb and the main gatehouse. Panel designs are geometric, floral and calligraphic, and prefigure the more complex and subtle designs later incorporated in Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb.
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This illustration to the Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) is the left side of a double-page composition (the right half is Museum no. IS.2:21-1896) designed by Basawan, whose name is given in the librarian's notations on the other page. The composition depicts a famous incident in the life of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605) outside the fort of Agra in north-west India in 1561. According to Akbar’s court historian and biographer Abu’l Fazl, the royal elephant Hawa’i was reputed to be one of the strongest and most difficult of all those owned by the emperor, yet Akbar mounted him with ease and pitted him against an equally fierce elephant named Ran Bagha. The illustration shows Akbar, mounted on Hawa’i, pursuing Ran Bagha across a bridge of boats over the River Jumna, which collapses under the weight of the elephants. A number of Akbar’s servants have jumped into the water to escape.

The Akbarnama was commissioned by Akbar as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written in Persian by Abu’l Fazl between 1590 and 1596, and the paintings for the V&A’s partial copy of the manuscript were done between about 1590 and 1595 as the historian drafted and then revised his text. This is thought to be the earliest illustrated version of the text, and drew upon the expertise of some of the best royal artists of the time. Many of these are listed by Abu’l Fazl in the third volume of the text, the A’in-i Akbari, and some of these names appear in the V&A illustrations, written in red ink beneath the pictures, showing that this was a royal copy made for Akbar himself. After his death, the manuscript remained in the library of his son Jahangir, from whom it was inherited by Shah Jahan.

The V&A purchased the manuscript in 1896 from Frances Clarke, the widow of Major General John Clarke, who bought it in India while serving as Commissioner of Oudh between 1858 and 1862.
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