And though like all the generations of Mughal emperors
and their successors, he was embattled,
sometimes literally with his son, Jahangir,
he bequeathed to him the sense that the authority
of the Mughal Empire would be built on art
as much as government and military power.
It would be seen to contemporaries and posterity
above all as a civilisation.
Jahangir didn't really need to be told by his father
how important art was.
In his own right, he was the most intellectually
and aesthetically driven of the whole dynasty.
Well, this is one of the great masterpieces of Mughal painting.
But it's also an extraordinary masterpiece
of imperial self-congratulation,
even by the standards of the World's Seizer,
that's what Jahangir's name means, the title he gave to himself.
He's encircled with a golden halo
that's the size of a small planet,
and it's giving off these extraordinarily intense golden glimmer,
so fierce that one of the little putti, one of the cupids,
who's been flown in directly from European art,
has to cover his eyes with his hands
lest his eyeballs be scalded by the radiation
of Jahangir's magnificence.
The slightly implausible conceit of the painting
is that Jahangir prefers the company
of a saintly Muslim holy man to worldly rulers.
The Sufi sheikh himself has been painted
with wonderful fustian simplicity -
a brown coat, perfect candyfloss whiskers there.
He's receiving a present from the hands of Jahangir himself,
but of course the hands don't actually touch.
And there is something else
going on in in this extraordinary painting.
It's also a picture about the competition between Mughal art
and European art, between East and West.
There's an Ottoman sultan who's shown with the Turkish turban