Payag (active c. 1595-1655)
Emperor Humayun seated in a landscape (detail), Mughal, c. 1650
Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Humayun lost his Indian territories to the Pashtun noble, Sher Shah Suri, and, with Persian aid, regained them fifteen years later. Humayun's return from Persia, accompanied by a large retinue of Persian noblemen, signaled an important change in Mughal court culture, as the Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely overshadowed by the influences of Persian art, architecture, language and literature.
Subsequently, in a very short time, Humayun was able to expand the Empire further, leaving a substantial legacy for his son, Akbar.