Among the hallmarks of Deccani art are portraits of Ibrahim ʿAdil Shah II (r. 1580-1627), the region’s so-called greatest patron of the arts and author of its iconic book of songs (Kitāb-i Nawras). In order to move beyond the narrative of Ibrahim as an isolated Deccani “genius” patron, this article explores the ruler and his court in light of Indo-Persian processes of taste, intellectualism, and migration. Bijapur is first positioned as a critical stop in cultural peregrination between Safavid Iran and Mughal India, and Ibrahim is explored as a collector of coveted books, a hitherto uncharted aspect of his identity that confirms his participation, via the mediation of Iranian elites, in widespread patterns of Perso-Islamic sovereignty. Attention subsequently focuses on the itinerant painter Farrukh Husayn, whose most compelling works reconcile Bijapuri and Persianate paradigms while stimulating new questions about artistic agency, peripatetic experience, and knowledge transmission between Iran and the subcontinent.

In: Muqarnas Online