A Hindu Princess Committing Sati against the Wishes of Emperor Akbar
This 18th century painting by Mohammad Rizā Naw'ī depicts Sati, the practice whereby a Hindi widow would commit suicide through self immolation upon the death of her husband. While Sati has been referenced repeatedly in European depictions of Hinduism, it was never very widespread. The practice was also controversial among South Asians at the time. In this painting, Prince Dāniyāl, the man on horseback in the lower right corner of the painting was the eldest son of the ruler of the Mughal empire, Emperor Akbar. The Muslim Mughal elites disapproved of the practice of Sati and part of the story in this painting relates how Emperor Akbar disagreed with the practice and only reluctantly granted permission for this Sati to take place.
Courtesy of the Wellcome Collection, London