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Ibrahim Adil Shah with Castanets

William Dalrymple discusses a miniature full-length portrait from the 17th century of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, the ruling sultan of the central Indian kingdom of Bijapur.

The writer and historian William Dalrymple continues his history of India through five great works of art and sculpture.

The third essay focuses on a miniature full-length portrait from the 17thcCentury. It's of the ruling Sultan of the central Indian kingdom of Bijapur, Ibrahim Adil Shah II, dressed in all his finery. It is an image of a powerful ruler before he came up against the might of the Mughals.

Dalrymple tells the story of this scholar ruler who was also a musician, poet and singer, who commissioned many of the greatest artists of the day who arrived at his court from as far afield as Central Asia and Europe. He was a free thinker who saw himself as both a devout Muslim and a Hindu devotee.
Dalrymple offers a profile of this important yet little-known Sultan and describes the remarkable explosion of artistic activity he oversaw

'A Short History of Indian Art' is a Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 3. The producer is Anthony Denselow.

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