King of the World: A Mughal Manuscript from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle

King of the World: A Mughal Manuscript from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle

May 31, 1998 to August 23, 1998

One of the most treasured items in the Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Padshahnama (“Chronicle of the King of the World”) has long been recognized as one of the greatest—and most rarely exhibited—manuscripts made for the Mughal emperor Shah-Jahan of India, the builder of the Taj Mahal.

On loan from the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, the volume was commissioned in 1639. The exhibition was the first public presentation of all 46 illustrations from one of the finest surviving Mughal painted books. Among the subjects compellingly illustrated in the manuscript are ceremonial court events set within the splendor of Mughal architecture, hunting scenes, fortresses under siege, and the attack in 1632 on the Portuguese at Hoogly, near Calcutta.

The exhibition was organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., in conjunction with the Royal Library, Windsor Castle.

Caption: Painted by Balchand, Jahangrir Receives Prince Khurram on His Return from the Mewar Campaign (detail), folio 43B of the Padshahnama manuscript, c. 1635, illuminated manuscript. The Royal Library, Windsor Castle. © Her Majesty the Queen