Ghulam Ali Khan

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Ghulam Ali Khan
Known forTopographical paintings, portraits
Notable work
StyleCompany style

Ghulam Ali Khan was a nineteenth century Indian painter in Delhi.[1] He was the last royal Mughal painter, and also painted in the Company style for British patrons.[2]


Ali Khan was the court painter of Mughal emperors Akbar II (reigned 1806–1837) and Bahadur Shah II (reigned 1837–1858) at Delhi. After the completion of his portrait of Akbar II, Ghulam Ali Khan was commissioned to paint the accession portrait of Bahadur Shah II. Versions of the portrait exist in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC and the Nasser D. Khalili collection in London.

He created 31 paintings, circa 1852-1854, monuments in and around Delhi, and four portraits of Emperor Bahadur Shah II and his sons. The paintings were in watercolour and gold on paper with black margins; each painting was labelled in English and Persian in nasta'liq script.[3]

He worked for more than ten years at the court of Jhajjar and Alwar court of Raja Baani Singh. He was closely associated with the East India Company, notably William Fraser and James Skinner. These works for William Fraser are included in the Fraser Album.

View of the Red Fort, from Sketches of The Delhee Palace & Delhee, 1854

His Sketches of The Delhee Palace & Delhee from 1854 are a series of 31 paintings, consisting of views of monuments in and around Delhi. Three paintings are dated November 1852. It is possible that the album originally belonged to Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas (1787-1868). The paintings are from the painter's later period. This collection was auctioned in London in 2013.[4]

His work is an important documentation of the Mughal empire towards its end, a companion to Metcalfe's Delhi Book, mostly done by Mazhar Ali Khan.

He was the nephew of noted Mughal painter, Ghulam Murtaza Khan.[5]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Dalrymple. "William Dalrymple on The Dehlie Book | Art and design". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
  2. ^ "Scenes From a Dying Empire". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
  3. ^ "Bonhams". Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Harshini Vakkalanka (2013-02-06). "Art and an empire". The Hindu. Retrieved 2014-02-20.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Ghulam Ali Khan at Wikimedia Commons