The commission illustrates episodes from the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ in the exquisite landscape of the Hamzanama, the earliest expression of the Indian subcontinent’s celebrated Indo-Islamic art tradition.
This painting is part of a triptych narrating the biblical episode where Jesus calms the storm. In the last of the three panels, Jesus with a raised hand orders the storm to recede. The vicious monster that embodied the fury of the sea is now subdued and acquires a rather comical appearance (top left). The others on the boat are relieved and seem to be resting—the man who fell overboard has been rescued by his companions, and another ties the turban that probably came undone in the chaos. This work is inspired by the miniature painting traditions that flourished in the hills of Punjab as well as in the Mughal court. See the triptych here.