Mughal Painting

Mughal Paintings in India are still very famous and they flourished during the Mughal Rule dating back to the period in between the sixteenth and the eighteenth century. The Mughal rulers played the patron role to bring the style of painting into the limelight. These painting are a particular style of South Asian paintings and are generally limited to miniatures

Some styles began in the 15th century, but it was not until the Mughal Empire was established in 1526 that miniature painting came into being. Mughal miniature painting is a mixture of bold and vivid colors, These paintings have  Persian and European influence.

These paintings were developed during the rule of various Mughal emperors in India. These paintings form a blend of the Indian and Persian style. The artists also adopted several themes from the lifestyles and activities of Mughal Emperors and hence got the name Mughal paintings. Generally, the paintings picturised on the events in the lives of Mughal emperors, portraits, scenes of the life of the courts, the emperors hunting scenes and instances of battles.

The art form became so popular that it eventually made its way to other Indian courts as well. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a large and impressive collection of Mughal painting

All the Mughal Emperors encouraged the artists for the development of the paintings. However, Aurangzeb was not interested in the development and growth of Mughal paintings. From then the decline of the Mughal paintings started slowly in the next generations of Mughal Empire. During the rule of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II, the Mughal paintings became completely unpopular. The patrons of the art started disappearing During the eighteenth century, the Mughal Painting styles saw a decline and a new painting style the Rajput started to evolve

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Key Features of Mughal Paintings:

The Mughal paintings are small in size, and hence are known as ‘miniature paintings’.

Mughal painting remained confined to the Mughal court and did not reach the people.

The Mughal rulers brought Persian painters with them. At the same time they patronized Indian painters and the collaboration between these two schools of painters resulted in the synthesis.

Apart from Persian books of fables, themes from Mahabharata, Ramayana were also selected.

Indian scenes and landscapes came into vogue.

Paintings were based upon close observation of nature

Under Jahangir, the Mughal school of paintings acquired greater charm, refinement and dignity.

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