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The mughal empire : Paintings and Music

The contribution of Mughals to the art of painting was remarkable. The foundation for the Mughal painting was laid by Humayun when he was staying in Persia.


The mughal empire : Paintings and Music

The contribution of Mughals to the art of painting was remarkable. The foundation for the Mughal painting was laid by Humayun when he was staying in Persia. He brought with him two painters - Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdal Samad to India. These two painters became famous during Akbar's reign. Akbar commissioned the illustrations of several literary and religious texts. He invited a large number of painters from different parts of the country to his court. Both Hindus and Muslims joined in this work. Baswan, Miskina and Daswant attained great positions as Akabar's court artists.

Illustrations of Persian versions of Mahabharata and Ramayana were produced in miniature form. Many other Indian fables became the miniature paintings in the Art Studio established by Akbar. Historical works such as Akbar Nama also remained the main themes of Mughal paintings. The most important work is Hamznama, which consisted 1200 paintings. Indian colours such as peacock blue, Indian red began to be used.

 

Mughal paintings reached its climax during the reign of Jahangir. He employed a number of painters like Abul Hasan, Bishan Das, Madhu, Anant, Manohar, Govardhan and Ustad Mansur. Apart from painting the scenes of hunting, battles and royal courts, progress was made in portrait painting and paintings of animals. Many albums containing paintings and calligraphy were produced during the Mughal period. Later, the influence of European painting could be seen.

 

Music had also developed under the Mughals. Akbar patronized Tansen of Gwalior. Tansen composed many ragas. Jahangir and Shah Jahan were also fond of music.

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