Emperor Babur with Attendants in a Garden


Historical period(s)
Mughal dynasty, Reign of Babur, ca. 1590
Mughal Court
Mughal School
Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper
H x W: 19.1 x 12.2 cm (7 1/2 x 4 13/16 in)
Credit Line
Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


attendant, emperor, garden, India, Mughal dynasty (1526 - 1858), WWII-era provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Previous Owner(s)

Kevorkian Foundation


The central figure in this composition has been identified as Babur, the second Mughal emperor (reigned 1526-30). An avid naturalist, Babur commissioned numerous gardens outside fortresses and citadels to symbolize his claim over his newly conquered domain. In this drawing, the rocky mountains of the background suggest a relatively untamed setting for the garden, which is dominated by a canopied platform. Placed at the intersection of a small pool and four water channels, the structure serves much like a throne, the definitive emblem of royal power and sovereignty.

Published References
  • Dr. Esin Atil. The Brush of the Masters: Drawings from Iran and India. Exh. cat. Washington, 1978. cat. 61, pp. 102-103.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Exh. cat. Washington, 1981. cat. 26, pp. 198-199.
  • The Moonlight Garden: New Discoveries at the Taj Mahal. Washington, 2000. p. 42.
  • Dr. Esin Atil. Emperors, Peris, and Demons in Near Eastern Art. Washington, November 1978. p. 148.
  • Mrs. Elizabeth B. Moynihan. Paradise as a Garden: Persia and Mughal India. World Landscape Art and Architecture Series New York. p. 108.
  • Milo Cleveland Beach. The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court., 2nd. Washington and Ahmedabad, India, 2012. cat. 26, p. 154, fig. 43.
Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum