Akbar hunting in an enclosure near Lahore
Hamid Bakari is Punished by Having his Head Shaved and Being Mounted on an Ass, 1567

from the Akbarnama

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This illustration from the Akbarnama is a double page composition depicting Akbar taking part in a qamargah, a ceremonial hunt, that took place near Lahore, in present-day north-east Pakistan, in 1567. This is a spectacular hunt whereby the game is driven towards the centre of a ten mile circular area so that the emperor and his entourage could hunt and kill the animals. The Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605) is shown in the centre of the painting mounted on horseback with his sword raised. At top right Hamid Bakkari is shown being punished for firing an arrow at one of the servants of the court by having his head shaved and being forced to ride backwards on an ass. The composition was designed by the Mughal court artist Miskina, who also painted the face of the emperor, and the rest was painted by Sarwan.

The Akbarnama (Book of Akbar) was commissioned by the emperor Akbar as the official chronicle of his reign. It was written by his court historian and biographer Abu'l Fazl between 1590 and 1596 and is thought to have been illustrated between about 1592 and 1594 by at least 49 different artists from Akbar's studio. After Akbar's death in 1605, the manuscript remained in the library of his son, Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) and later Shah Jahan (r.1628-1658). The Victoria and Albert Museum purchased it in 1896 from Mrs Frances Clarke, the widow of Major-General John Clarke, who bought it in India while serving as Commissioner of Oudh between 1858 and 1862.

Place of origin: India (possibly, made) Pakistan (possibly, made)
Date: 1590-1595 (painted)
Artist/Maker: Miskina (outline, artist) Mansur, born 1450 (colours and details, artist)
Materials and Techniques: Opaque watercolour and gold on paper
Victoria and Albert Museum
Museum numbers :IS.2:56-1896 and IS.2:55-1896
Mughal Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers in the Akbarnama




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