MUGHAL MANUSCRIPT PAINTING (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Art and Culture)

News-CRUX-10     22nd January 2024        

Context: Mughal manuscript painting, sponsored as it was by the wealthy Mughal court, used fine quality paper imported from Persia and Italy, as well as pigments derived from rare & expensive minerals.

Mughal manuscript Painting

  • About: Originating in the mid-sixteenth century, Mughal manuscript painting became a prominent tradition in South Asia and the broader Islamic world.
  • Characteristics: Naturalism, intricacy, luminosity, and pluralism, Mughal miniature painting incorporated diverse influences from Persian, South Asian, and European Renaissance styles.
  • Influences and Borrowings: Mughal manuscript painting borrowed from Persian miniatures, pre-existing South Asian manuscript art, and European Renaissance images.

oThe paintings reflected a synthesis of styles and subject matter, showcasing the pluralistic nature of Mughal artistic expression.

  • Establishment of Mughal Atelier: The Mughal atelier, founded by Ali and al-Samad, played a pivotal role in shaping Mughal manuscript painting, influencing smaller courts in South Asia.
  • Examples: Tutinama, Akbarnama, Hamzanama and Padshahnama.