The Mughal court was influenced by the arrival of the first Jesuit missionaries from 1580 onwards. They provided access to European oil paintings, illustrated manuscripts, engravings and even ivory icons, which became models for Mughal artists, as can be seen in this portrait.
This portrait of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1569–1627), shows him holding an icon of the Virgin Mary, while a golden halo of light radiates around him. Poetic inscriptions, around the side of the painting, ask for strength and protection for Jahangir to face the surrounding darkness and rise to the challenges of kingship. Maryam (the Virgin Mary) occupies a prominent place among the women in the Qur’an and became an epithet for Mughal queens.