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The Background of Early Mughal Painting

Title:The Background of Early Mughal Painting
Author:Anand, Mulk Raj
Enumeration:Vol. 11 Issue no. 3; June 1958, p. 30-44
Abstract:The indigenous traditions of painting have continued, with breaks, from Ajanta to the early medieval palm leaf manuscripts of the Pala empire of Bengal and the Jaina Kalpasutras of Gujarat, the last showing traces of Persian and Timurid influence. In the Sultanate period, the art patronized showed an obvious preference for Persian-style painting. With this background, the artistic sensibility of Timur and his descendants (Babur, Humayun, and Akbar) led to the development of the original Mughal school of painting. An Indian sensibility was brought to the Mughal court, and Abul Fazl's Ain-i Akbari takes note of Akbar's sensitive perception of painting and recognition of Hindu attitudes towards the art. Another stream of influence came from the Christian-European pictures brought by Jesuit missionaries to Fatehpur Sikri in about 1580. All 3 streams -- Islamic, Hindu, and Jesuit -- were assimilated in Akbar's time to give Mughal painting its distinctive character. Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdus Samad -- the two Persian painters brought by Humayun -- were behind the preference for Persian methods and styles, and this was strengthened by the arrival of Farrukh Beg, an artist from Kalmak in Central Asia who joined the Emperor's service in 1585, and Aqa Riza of Herat. The prominent Hindu artists of Akbar's period were Dasvanth and Basavan. A genuinely integrated Persian-Indian or Indo-Mughal art emerged in his last years under the patronage of Akbar's son Jahangir.

Source of Abstract: Provided by Publisher


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