Title:Portrait of Nawah General Firoz KhanArtist:Artist UnknownDate:early 18th centuryCreation Place:Asia, India, Deccan RegionCredit Line:The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip FundAccession Number:80.41
This finely executed portrait of General Firoz Khan, a seventeenth century nobleman and member of the Golkonda court in the Deccan, demonstrates that Persian-inspired painting flourished at Golkonda before the Mughal ruler Aurangzeb finally conquered it in 1687. The rulers of the Deccan plateau were Muslim, like the Mughals, but whereas the Mughals were Sunnis and influenced by eastern Iranian and Central Asian painting, the sultans of the Deccan were Shi'as and more influenced by Safavid and Arab culture. The preference for fine detail, polished surface, and decorative floral borders evident here demonstrates considerable Persian influence. Following the military campaigns of Aurangzeb, Mughal artists found their way to central Indian courts and perpetuated Muslim-inspired painting through the eighteenth century.