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AP Art History Curriculum Framework: Focus on "Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings"

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Visual Arts +1 Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

This educational resource is designed especially for teachers and students in Advanced Placement (AP) Art History courses. It focuses on an artwork from the Freer|Sackler collection, Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings; one of the 250 works that are featured in the AP Art History curriculum. In particular, this artwork is in Content Area 8 - South, East, and Southeast Asia.

The AP Art History curriculum stresses the investigation of four key areas for each artwork: Form, Function, Content, and Context. This resource will touch on all four areas and can be adapted for use.

Tags: Album, AP, Art History, emperor, India, Jahangir, manuscript, Mughal dynasty, Muslim, portrait, Project Zero, See/Think/Wonder

Background Note to Teachers

India's Mughal emperors, who reigned over a vast and wealthy empire that extended over most of the South Asian subcontinent between the 16th and 19th centuries, were passionate about lavish manuscripts and paintings. Between 1556 and 1657, the greatest Mughal patrons—the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan—formed grand workshops that brought together and nurtured India's leading painters, calligraphers and illuminators. This resource focuses on just one of the paintings created for Jahangir, but the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery form one of the world's most important repositories of Mughal and Persian painting. To search our collection, refer to

Related Standards

  • C3 D2.His.1.6-8 - Analyze connections among events and developments in broader historical contexts.
  • C3 D2.His.2.6-8 - Classify series of historical events and developments as examples of change and/or continuity.
  • C3 D2.His.14.6-8 - Explain multiple causes and effects of events and developments in the past.
  • C3 D2.His.15.6-8 - Evaluate the relative influence of various causes of events and developments in the past.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 - Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • NAEA | Anchor Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
  • NAEA | Anchor Standard 8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
  • NAEA | Anchor Standard 11 - Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural and historical context to deepen understanding.
  • NCHS WH Era 6 | Standard 1B - The student understands the encounters between Europeans and peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
  • NCHS WH Era 6 | Standard 3C - The student understands the rise of the Safavid and Mughal empires.
  • NCHS WH Era 6 | Standard 6A - The student understands major global trends from 1450 to 1770.
  • NCSS 1 : Culture - Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity.
  • NCSS 2 : Time, Continuity, and Change - Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the past and its legacy.
  • NCSS 3 : People, Places, and Environments - Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments.


This collection has been compiled from materials available on the Freer|Sackler website. In addition, these resources have been especially useful:

Milo Cleveland Beach, The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 2012.

Print and online materials related to "Worlds within Worlds: Imperial Paintings from India and Iran," an exhibition held at the Freer|Sackler from July 28 through Sept. 16, 2012.