Monday, May 11th, 2009 | Author:

Mughal art was developed mainly during the 16th – 18th century, in the reigns of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. These paintings included episodes, portraits, panoramas of wild life and battlegrounds. They also portrayed events from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

 Mughal painting

Mughal paintings were a unique merge of Indian, Islamic and Persian paintings. These paintings are generally restrained to miniatures like book graphics or as single works to be reserved in albums. A classic depiction of the royal life can be observed in the hunting scenes in these Mughal paintings.


During the reign of Emperor Jahangir, the artistic scenario was at its best. The paintings created during his reign exemplified events and happenings of his life. Use of light colours and complex brush strokes were the prominent attributes of these paintings such as the ones which were a part of the Jahangirnama, a biographical portrayal of Jahangir.


The impressive albums comprising the Mughal paintings were often covered with leather. This leather was smoothened first and then it was embossed and painted. In the preliminary phases the technique of Mughal art often involved a team of people who specialized in art. One determined the composition, the second did the concrete colouring and the third worked on individual faces or portraits. One of the earliest example of the Mughal art is illustrated in the folk tale Tuti – Nameh (tale of a parrot).


In recent times, the consummate skill of the Mughal paintings has come to be widely appreciated in the West. Mughal painting was basically a court art which developed under the benefaction of the ruling Mughal emperors and began to deteriorate when the rulers lost interest.

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