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    which book is noted as the first illustrated manuscript of mughal painting


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    Mughal painting

    Mughal painting

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Govardhan, Emperor Jahangir visiting the ascetic Jadrup, c. 1616–20

    Mughal painting is a style of painting on paper confined to miniatures either as book illustrations or as single works to be kept in albums (muraqqa), from the territory of the Mughal Empire in South Asia. It emerged from Persian miniature painting (itself partly of Chinese origin) and developed in the court of the Mughal Empire of the 16th to 18th centuries. Battles, legendary stories, hunting scenes, wildlife, royal life, mythology, as well as other subjects have all been frequently depicted in paintings.[1]

    The Mughal emperors were Muslims and they are credited with consolidating Islam in South Asia, and spreading Muslim (and particularly Persian) arts and culture as well as the faith.[2]

    Mughal painting immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums, and were more realistically depicted. Although many classic works of Persian literature continued to be illustrated, as well as Indian works, the taste of the Mughal emperors for writing memoirs or diaries, begun by Babur, provided some of the most lavishly decorated texts, such as the Padshahnama genre of official histories. Subjects are rich in variety and include portraits, events and scenes from court life, wild life and hunting scenes, and illustrations of battles. The Persian tradition of richly decorated borders framing the central image (mostly trimmed in the images shown here) was continued, as was a modified form of the Persian convention of an elevated viewpoint.

    , with a halo and European-style , c. 1618–19 to 1629.

    The Mughal painting style later spread to other Indian courts, both Muslim and Hindu, and later Sikh, and was often used to depict Hindu subjects. This was mostly in northern India. It developed many regional styles in these courts, tending to become bolder but less refined. These are often described as "post-Mughal", "sub-Mughal" or "provincial Mughal". The mingling of foreign Persian and indigenous Indian elements was a continuation of the patronage of other aspects of foreign culture as initiated by the earlier Turko-Afghan Delhi Sultanate, and the introduction of it into the subcontinent by various Central Asian Turkish dynasties?, such as the Ghaznavids.



    Abu'l Hasan, Emperor Jahangir at the Jharoka window of the Agra Fort, c. 1620, Aga Khan Museum

    From fairly early the Mughal style made a strong feature of realistic portraiture, normally in profile, and influenced by Western prints, which were available at the Mughal court. This had never been a feature of either Persian miniature or earlier Indian painting. The pose, rarely varied in portraits, was to have the head in strict profile, but the rest of the body half turned towards the viewer. For a long time portraits were always of men, often accompanied by generalized female servants or concubines; but there is scholarly debate about the representation of female court members in portraiture. Some scholars claim there are no known extant likenesses of figures like Jahanara Begum and Mumtaz Mahal, and others attribute miniatures, for example from the Dara Shikoh album or the Freer Gallery of Art mirror portrait, to these famous noblewomen.[3][4][5] The single idealized figure of the Riza Abbasi type was less popular, but fully painted scenes of lovers in a palace setting became popular later. Drawings of genre scenes, especially showing holy men, whether Muslim or Hindu, were also popular.

    Akbar had an album, now dispersed, consisting entirely of portraits of figures at his enormous court which had a practical purpose; according to chroniclers he used to consult it when discussing appointments and the like with his advisors, apparently to jog his memory of who the people being discussed were. Many of them, like medieval European images of saints, carried objects associated with them to help identification, but otherwise the figures stand on a plain background.[6] There are a number of fine portraits of Akbar, but it was under his successors Jahangir and Shah Jahan that the portrait of the ruler became firmly established as a leading subject in Indian miniature painting, which was to spread to both Muslim and Hindu princely courts across India.[7]

    From the 17th century equestrian portraits, mostly of rulers, became another popular borrowing from the West.[8] Another new type of image showed the Jharokha Darshan (literally "balcony view/worship"), or public display of the emperor to the court, or the public, which became a daily ceremonial under Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, before being stopped as un-Islamic by Aurangzeb. In these scenes, the emperor is shown at top on a balcony or at a window, with a crowd of courtiers below, sometimes including many portraits. Like the increasingly large halos these emperors were given in single portraits, the iconography reflects the aspiration of the later Mughals to project an image as the representative of Allah on earth, or even as having a quasi-divine status themselves.[9][10] Other images show the enthroned emperor having meetings, receiving visitors, or in durbar, or formal council. These and royal portraits incorporated in hunting scenes became highly popular types in later Rajput painting and other post-Mughal styles.

    स्रोत : en.wikipedia.org

    Three Illustrated Manuscripts of the Mughal Period on JSTOR

    R. H. Pinder-Wilson, Three Illustrated Manuscripts of the Mughal Period, Ars Orientalis, Vol. 2 (1957), pp. 413-422

    JOURNAL ARTICLE R. H. Pinder-Wilson Ars Orientalis

    , pp. 413-422 (18 pages)

    Published By: The Smithsonian Institution


    Cosponsored by the Department of the History of Art, University of Michigan, and the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Ars Orientalis is a peer-reviewed annual volume of scholarly articles and book reviews on the art and archaeology of Asia, including the ancient Near East and the Islamic world. Fostering a broad range of themes and approaches, it is intended for scholars in diverse fields. Occasional thematic volumes are published.

    The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum and research complex. Dedicated for 159 years to the "increase and diffusion of knowledge," the Smithsonian supports authoritative scholarship in science, history, and the arts and is an international leader in scientific research and exploration.

    This item is part of a JSTOR Collection.

    For terms and use, please refer to our

    Ars Orientalis © 1957 Regents of the University of Michigan

    स्रोत : www.jstor.org

    Mughal painting under Akbar: the Melbourne Hamza

    Mughal painting under Akbar: the Melbourne Hamza-nama and Akbar-nama paintings

    By John Guy | 26 Jun 14

    The Department of Asian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, in recent years has acquired three important Indian paintings and a related drawing belonging to the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605). These works span the full period of Akbar’s active patronage, from his extraordinarily ambitious commissioning of the monumental  in the early 1560s through to the second imperial copy of his own biography, the , in production around 1604–5. Each of the paintings is in the form of a single folio separated from a major illustrated manuscript of the Akbar period, namely the , the Victoria and Albert Museum , and the Chester Beatty , which is, in fact, shared between that library and the British Museum. Substantial sections of the two copies of the survive, though in each lacunae are frequent. Of the it is estimated that less than one-tenth of the original 1400 paintings are extant.1 Produced over forty years of Akbar’s fifty-four year reign, these works provide an insight into the stylistic dynamics of imperial painting at the Mughal court in the latter half of the 16th century.

    The principal patron, the emperor himself, inherited the throne at the age of thirteen in 1556 and, by 1600, had expanded and consolidated his precarious inheritance into the greatest empire seen in South Asia since the Guptas, a millenium earlier. The interests and preoccupations of early Mughal painting are closely identifiable with those of their imperial patron. They are reflections of both the richly cosmopolitan court which he cultivated and maintained and of his direct involvement as director of artistic activities and as principal critic. Abu’l Fazl records that the emperor directed that many books be illustrated, ‘His Majesty having indicated the scenes to be painted’.2 His description of the procedures followed at the court atelier reveal an extraordinary degree of patron involvement in the very processes of the art production. In addition he outlines clearly the criteria employed in making qualitative judgments of the works themselves:

    Each week the several superintendents and clerks submit before the king the work done by each artist, and His Majesty gives a reward and increases the monthly salaries according to the excellence displayed. His Majesty looks deeply into the matter of raw materials and set a high value on the quality of production. As a result, colouring has gained a new beauty, and finish a new clarity … Delicacy of work, clarity of line, and boldness of execution, as well as other fine qualities, have reached perfection, and inanimate objects appear to come alive.3

    Abu’l-Fazl finds no higher praise for the quality of work of the artists assembled at Akbar’s direction than to state that: ‘a fine match has been created to the world-renowned unique art of Bihzad and the magic making of the Europeans’.4

    The qualities praised in association with the paintings of Bihzad were those of delicacy and clarity. Sixteenth-century Islamic court painting is distinguished for its extreme refinement and fidelity, and an over-riding preoccupation with surface embellishment. The contribution of European art, known principally through engravings of Christian subjects distributed by evangelising Jesuits, was that of naturalism, to animate the figures and introduce atmospheric qualities into the landscape.

    Each of the four works to be discussed have historical subjects: a legendary epic-romance in the and contemporary historical events in the  folios. Together they demonstrate the Mughal preoccupation with history as an aspect of political legitimisation. The Islamic tradition upon which Akbar drew had a strongly developed tradition of history writing. The Mughal histories commissioned by Akbar were written in the court language, Persian, and followed the Islamic historiographic tradition in its narrative chronicle style. The official and private accounts which survive from Akbar’s reign provide one of the most richly documented dynastic histories seen through contemporary eyes. For the study of early Mughal painting these writings, especially the official chronicle, the , are of central importance. These writings provide not only passing reference to the activities of the artists and the appreciation of their works, but serve, in most instances, as the textual source for the paintings themselves.

    Akbari painting is principally illustrative, concerned with recording and describing events. These may be historic, legendary, religious, or indeed contemporary, in the instance of an album of portraits of courtiers which Akbar directed be prepared.5 Akbar’s intellectual interests lay in the enjoyment of history and in religious enquiry and debate.6 Copies of famous books, lavishly illustrated and sumptuously bound, were prepared for the imperial library. Where important texts did not exist in Persian, Akbar directed members of his court to undertake translations. Akbar was not the first Muslim ruler to initiate the translation of Sanskrit texts, but under his direction this interest in important literary and theological texts of the Hindu world flourished.7 A translation bureau, the , was established at Fathpur-Sikri expressly for this purpose. Many of the key Hindu texts, including the , and , were translated, along with Arab texts relating to folklore and astronomy and, later, Latin and Portuguese works of Christian theology. Many of these translations were richly illustrated and bound by the imperial atelier and workshop at Akbar’s direction (see Appendix).8

    स्रोत : www.ngv.vic.gov.au

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