Mughal paintings

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Mughal Paintings

Mughal Paintings

Mughal PaintingsMughal painting is a style of Indian painting which emerged from Persian miniature.It began in the courts of the Mughal Empire (16th - 19th centuries), and later spread to other Indian courts, both Muslim and Hindu, and later Sikh.

Differences from Persian miniature painting

Extended sense of space.Realistic style.Agitated action rarely seen in Persian art.

Hunting expedition


Exquisitely detailed and finely drawn.Lively and realistic.Elements of portraiture.Muted, more pastel, representing the nature, and earth tones dominated the mood of the paintings.Beautiful Calligraphy.Magnificent ornaments created elegant borders.Historical painting.High viewpoint and 3 dimensional nature.Book illustrations or as single works to be kept in albums.

Jehangir and nur jahan



Humayun became enamoured by the art of miniature painting in Persia.He brought back two persian masters, Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdus Samad.They became the founders of the new Mughal school of Indian painting.Humayan's major known commission was a Khamsa of Nizami with 36 illuminated pages.

AkbarBetween 1562 and 1577 the atelier worked on an illustrated manuscript of the Hamzanama consisting of 1,400 canvas folios.European influence.Cultural synthesis can be traced from its flat decorative beginnings through a blending with a lively Rajasthani and finally to its move towards realism.Illustration of manuscripts with themes from Persian literature, Indian epics, court scenes, animal fables and battles.Mughal style during this period continued to refine itself with elements of realism and naturalism coming to the fore.

Alexander lowered into the sea from the khamsa of amir khusrau

JehangirUnder Jahangir, Akbar's lively naturalism was advanced into a calmer and strongly realistic approach.Brushwork became finer and the colors lighter.European influence.Encouraged his royal atelier to take up the single point perspective favoured by European artists, unlike the flattened multi-layered style used in traditional miniatures.Paintings depicting events of his own life, individual portraits, and studies of birds, flowers and animals.

Squirrels in a chenar tree by Mansur Jahangir seated on a allegorical throne by Bichitr

Jahangir and Nur-jahan

Shah Jahan

Paintings gradually became cold and rigid.Themes including musical parties; lovers, sometimes in intimate positions, on terraces and gardens; and ascetics gathered around a fire, abound in the Mughal paintings of this period.well-embellished portraits with exact likeness of the portrayed figures.

Portrait of Shah jahan

Revival under Muhammad Shah

In sections of former empire such Murshidabad in Bengal and Lucknow in Oudh, a shadow of the former imperial style was kept alive and subjects a hundred or more years old were copied as if to recapture the heroic grandeurs of the past.

The marriage procession of Dara Shikoh

Jain monks and scholars of medieval India wrote thousands of manuscripts related to their religious literature. These manuscripts contain some beautiful miniature paintingsThe earliest known miniature paintings are from 11th CenturyJain Painting

Jain PaintingOne of the earliest art formsUsed palm-leaves for their inscriptions with decorative and flat styleEarly palette restricted to simple reds,yellows,blue,brown etcAlthough that changed with the introduction of paper

The significant feature is the stylish figure of the women in the paintings.Used strong colors and liked to show enlarged eyes of the persons in the paintings.The artist also liked to decorate the persons with ornaments.Miniature Painting from Kalakacharya Katha

Jain Painting

need to add one pic displaying this one couldnt find one

Jain miniature paintings are found mainly in old Rajasthani, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi and Kannada manuscripts.The colors were made especially from vegetables, minerals and even from gold and silver.This art of miniature painting began to decline after 16th century.Jain Painting

Miniature Painting from Chandana Malayaqiri Varta

Lesya(Mental Attitude Painting)

Lesya is a Jain concept of mental attitude, where different persons think and behave differently for getting same thing. In this beautiful multicolored miniature painting from a Jain manuscript, we see that the 6 persons want to get fruits

Jain Painting

Rajasthani (Rajput)Most of the time depicted events of epic,beautiful landscapes and humans.

Radha and Krishna was probably the favourite theme in Rajput paintingsNihal Chand

Rajasthani (Rajput)The preparation of desired colors was a lengthy process, sometimes taking weeks.The colors were extracted from certain minerals, plant sources, conch shells, and were even derived by processing precious stones.

Nihal Chand

Rajasthani Paintings

While Mughal art is realistic, Rajasthani is symbolic and filled with poetic metaphorAll men are symbols, all nature is symbolicWomen are symbolic of all feminityArtists ultimate desire was to clarify mans relationship with god

Rajasthani Paintings

Vasant Ragini, Kota, RajasthanRagamala means garland of melody or modePoems dealing with musical sentiments are illustrated by representations of specific human situationsTheRagamalaseries were prized for their narrative as well as the visual effect of their use of rich, vibrant colours

Rajasthani Painting

Different colours were given different meaningsRed connoted furyYellow showed the marvellousBrown signified eroticColours were also used to represent specific musical notes

PAHARI Miniature PaintingsThe Origin:The exact origin of miniature painting style practised at the Hindu Courts in Himalyan Foothills remain unknown.Frist known examples were in the states of Basohli, Kahlur and Mankot , painted in 1650.The invasion of India and the sack of Delhi in 1739 provided the catalyst for refinement of Pahari Art.The Rajasthani Hindu courts welcomed the displaced Mughal artists. The Hill elements of realism and Mughal Craftmanship from The Muhammad Shahi revival contributed significantly to the evolving Pahari aesthetics.

Pahari, Basohli

Krishna Arriving at Radhas House, Rasamanjari of Bhanudatta

1660-70 Key featuresFlat red background and an ornate pavillionRich colour schemeGargoyle-like ornament on the base of pavillion

Pahari, Guler

The arrest of Spies, Seige of Lanka,RamayanaPahari guler 1725

Key featuresThe series illustrates the acitivities of Rama and his allies before climactic battle of LankaOn the reverse, they were inscribed with text of the great epic poem.

Pahari, Guler

Lady with a HawkGuler,1750

Key features:Set after twenty-five years of Siege of Lanka, the Mughal Influence has set itself into the mainstream styleThe subtle tones and shading skilfully depict the flesh tones ,sheer fabrics and the setting in the inner apartment of the palace.

Pahari, Mandi

Raja Shamsher Sen with his son Surma Sen,Mandi ,1775

Key featuresThe plain, vivid powder-blue background and the stiff ,boldly stripped carpetSmaller figure of prince

Pahari, Jammu

By the master artist of Jammu court, NainsukhRaja Balwant Singh of Jammusmoking alone on a Palace roof in the rains(July-August 1751)

Pahari, KangraIntroduction of love and romance in art

Radha and Krishna in the Grove (1780)

From the atelier of Raja Sansar Chand (1775-1823)

The Swing (1790)The Kangra Style: generally have a central elegant female form expresses an innocent and open sensuality features traditionally symbolic elements (dark clouds, rain, swing in this work)

Pahari, GarhwalConsiderably influenced by Kangra

The Road to Krishna (1780)

Illustrating an episode from Bhagavata Purana

Termination of Miniature Art