At first glance the painting would appear to depict a warrior dressed in Mongolian princely attire. He is dressed in a white robe, with characteristically long sleeves that cover his hands. He wears a plumed turban and is weighed down by an impressive array of weaponry including, a sword, push dagger, shield and full sheaf of arrows. He is being presented by an elderly attendant, with a sword, or similar weapon, wrapped in a white cloth . However, the inscription on the verso of the painting is somewhat mystifying as the Takri reads:
"jhaman shah patshah kabala da lah …… ee ne fatey kita tha"
Emperor Jhaman (Zaman) Shah of Kabul…..conquered the fort
According to the inscription, the Mandi portrait would therefore depict the Afghan emperor Zaman Shah Durrani (r. 1793-1800). The painting perhaps celebrates the ascension to the Kabul throne by Zaman Shah after the demise of his father Timur Shah Durrani. However, the image of Zaman Shah as portrayed in the painting does not share any similarity with the other popular images of the Afghan emperor. Thus, it can be concluded that the artist has either based the physiognomy of Zaman Shah on the sheer fancy of his imagination, or the inscription itself is of a later date and the librarian has misidentified a Mongolian Prince with the Afghan Ruler.
If the inscription is accepted as being contemporary to the painting then this painting might have been executed around 1793-1795 CE, immediately after the emperor's rise to power, but certain stylistic elements in the painting seem to suggest an earlier date for its completion possibly closer to 1750.