Characteristic of Mughal painting

mughal art

mughal art

Mughal painting of India developed as well as prospered under the rule of Mughal Emperor, Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan.

            Mughal painting experienced large-scale growth under the reign of Emperor Akbar. During that time, hundreds of artists used to paint under the direction of the two Persian artists. Since the emperor was fond of tales, one can see the paintings mainly being based on the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Persian epics. Mughal paintings also started illustrating an enhanced naturalism, with animal tales, landscape, portraits etc.

mughal art

mughal art

            Emperor Jahngir reigned from 1605 to 1627 and extended great support to various art forms, especially paintings. This period saw more and mort refinement in brushwork, along with the use of much lighter and shaded colors. The main themes of the Mughal paintings revolved around the events from Jahangir’s own life, along with portraits, birds, flowers, animals, etc. One of the most popular examples of Mughal painting of this time includes the pictorial illustration of the Jehangir-nama, the biography of Emperor Jahajgir.

            The grace and refinement of the Jahangir period was seen at the time of Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-58). However, the sensitivity of the painting was replaced by coldness and rigidity. The themes of that time revolved around musical parties, lover on terrace and gardens, ascetics gathered around the fire, etc.

            Aurangzeb (1658-1707) did not actively encourage Mughal paintings, but as this art form had gathered momentum and had a number of patrons, Mughal paintings continued to survive, but the decline has set in. some sources however not that a hew of the best Mughal paintings were mad for Aurangzeb, speculating that the painters may have realized that he was about to close the workshops and thus exceeded themselves in his behalf. A brief revival was noticed during the reign of Muhammad Shah (1719-1748), and by the time of Shah Alam II (1759-1806), the art of Mughal painting had lost its glory. By that time, other schools of Indian painting had developed, including, in the royal court of the Rajput kingdoms of Rajputana, Rajput painting and in the cities ruled by the British East India Company, the Company style under Western influence.

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