A Rare Portrait of Nadir Shah

Era: Afsharid Dynasty or Mughal Empire, India
Date:  1740's
Materials and Techniques: Gouache with gold and ink on buff wasli leaf
Size: 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches
Artifacts Collections of New York Inc.
Source: [1]
نقاشی نادر شاه افشار - امپراتوری مغولان هند - مجموعه‌ هنری نیویورک
Wasli [2], also referred to as wasli paper, is a type of handmade acid-free paper used specifically for painting miniatures because of its archival qualities. It was devised in India, in the 10th century, and it was widely used in Mughal-era painting.

This is another portrait of Nadir Shah (1688-1747) who ruled as Shah of Persia from 1736-1747. He became the founder of the Afsharid Dynasty after deposing the remnants of the Safavid Dynasty under Shah Abbas III in 1736. He conquered Mughal Northern India and in 1739 occupied Delhi and carried away the Peacock Throne and the Koh-i-Noor diamond prior to his triumphant return to Persia.

Nadir Shah is depicted here, in middle-age seated against a large bolster, both hands holding his campaign sword. He is dressed in Turkmen style with fur stole and characteristic jeweled headgear with feathered aigrette. This painting is very similar to two kept in the Freer Gallery of Art and Sackler Gallery in the Smithsonian Institution: [3],[4]