Mughal Painting

Topics: Mughal Empire, Mughal painting, Jahangir Pages: 13 (5136 words) Published: January 18, 2010
Mughal painting was rich in variety and included portraits, events and scenes from court life, wild life and hunting scenes, and illustrations of battles. Development
Mughal painting developed and flourished during the reigns of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan.Mughal painting reflects an exclusive combination of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles. As the name suggests, these paintings evolved as well as developed during the rule of Mughal Emperors in India, between 16th to 19th century. The Mughal paintings of India revolved around themes, like battles, court scenes, receptions, legendary stories, hunting scenes, wildlife, portraits, etc. The Victoria and Albert Museums of London house a large and impressive collection of Mughal paintings. Mogul miniature Indo-Islamic miniature painting of court life or the natural world, produced in northern India in the ateliers (workshops) of the Mogul emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan (16th–17th centuries). Persian Safavid artists introduced the traditions of miniature painting from Persian art, but the atelier then developed its own unique style, combining Persian and European techniques as well as Hindu and Islamic traditions. Exquisite and meticulously detailed miniatures were painted with great realism in glowing, jewel-like colours. Many paintings were worked on by more than one artist, often both Hindu and Muslim – perhaps one doing the outline, while the other coloured. Islam arrived in India in the late 10th century, and subsequent waves of zealous and increasingly strong Muslim armies destroyed all Hindu and Buddhist temples between the 11th and 13th centuries. Little remains of India's original Hindu and Buddhist art, although Persian painters employed in the Muslim courts adopted some of the characteristics of Hindu art. The first atelier was set up by the third Mogul emperor under Safavid printers. However, the emperor's atelier soon became more celebrated for its miniatures. Realistic royal portraits were produced, and albums of birds, animals, and flowers were painted for Jehangir, who took over Akbar's atelier when he died. Mogul miniatures remained popular during Jehangir's reign, but began to decline under Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–1666), as many of the artists began to move to different courts in Rajput and Deccani. Babur, the first emperor of Mughals used to identify him with the Timurid family tradition and this family was ardently devoted to the arts of the book. The paintings of early period of Mughals can be seen in a specialist organisation of a palace studio or scriptorium, which was managed then by Baysunqur. This scriptorium was headed by the legendary painter Bihzad of Mughal period. But unfortunately, the scriptorium broke up at the end of Husayn Bayqara`s reign and Bihzad was brought to Tabriz by the Saiavid Shah Ismail to organise the palace studio there. Some other painters were taken to Bukhara by the Uzbek conqueror, Muhammad Shaybani. But the fame of this scriptorium was not spoiled and it served as a model for the later built scriptoria by Humayun and Akbar.

The Mughal emperor, Babur himself was an expert of painting and inherited the taste of his Timurid predecessors. He had to abandon his entire baggage sometimes to include a whole library of illustrated books having paintings. Babur had never a stable residence, which was needed for keeping those expensive illustrated paintings, as those were very expensive. But when became the ruler of Samarkand, he became able to stock them properly. Both Babur and Akbar were intensely attached with painting and Akbar`s great-grandson Jahangir was popular for his naturalistic representation and also for natural history. The Persian painting in drawings and studies in albums made for the Timurid rulers of Herat and the Turcoman rulers of Shiraz and Tabriz reflect their interest in naturalism. Their interest in naturalism...
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