An Antique Mughal Portrait of Shaikh Farid Murtaza Khan
This is a remarkably detailed portrait in miniature of a Mughal nobleman reading a petition. I believe the portrait depicts Shaikh Farid Murtaza Khan, who has been portrayed reading from a petition and with a sword. A portrait of an emperor would present with far more of the details celebrated during the Mughal reign. The miniature paintings were used in albums and depicted the political and spiritual life of the Mughals, the wealthiest polity during its reign from the 16th to 19th centuries.
The paintings were made using gouache and very fine brushes made of squirrel hair. You can see details in the feather and facial hair showing individual strands. Mughal portraits were often highly embellished with ornate borders and religious writings. Western influence introduced iconic Christian symbols which were used for aesthetic reasons.