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The Emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan with Their Ministers and Prince Dara Shikoh

Catalogue Description:
This group portrait was made for the emperor Shah Jahan, who ruled from 1627 to 1658. It shows four generations of the Mughal dynasty in a gathering that never actually took place. Shah Jahan (at the right) receives a falcon -- an emblem of imperial authority -- from his grandfather Akbar, who was considered the greatest of the Mughal emperors. Shah Jahan's father, Jahangir, against whom he rebelled, sits to the side, holding a different falcon. Meanwhile, Shah Jahan's favorite son, Dara Shikoh, stands beside him as inended heir. The image illustrates the dynastic lineage, while revealing that Shah Jahan preferred to think of himself as his grandfather's heir.

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