Jahangir holding the portrait of the Madonna, by an unknown Indian artist; National Museum, New Delhi, India; 1620
Jahangir, the fourth Mughal emperor, reigned from 1605 to 1627. Widely considered to be a heterodox Sunni Muslim, he had a passion for religious debates, often pitting Jesuit priests against Muslim ulamas and Hindu brahmins for his own enjoyment. His opponents painted him an atheist— one who respected all faiths and, consequently, believed in none of them. His personal prayer room was supposed to have been adorned with images of the Blessed Virgin and of the Christ.