Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #33 – Mughal Miniatures

For this post of Imagining Islamic Aesthetics I would like to put forward the subject of Mughal Miniatures. I had focused on the subject of Islamic Miniatures before, but I would like to specify for this post the Islamic, Mughal paintings.

Influenced by Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist culture and art, Mughal miniature developed during the Mughal empire between the 16th and 19th century, it is a style of painting in South Asia generally used in smaller artworks such as miniatures or single paintings for a small collection or albums. Notable examples include biographies of emperors such as the Akbarnama, illustrated biography of the third Mughal empire Akbar and other types of literary works such as the Ragamala, or the Garland of Ragas, a series of illustrations of Indian musical nodes, Indian Ragas, and the 14th Century Iranian tales Tutinama (Tales of the Parrot).

One of the illustrations in the Akbarnama. This particular page depicts Akbar’s adventure with the elephant Hawa’i, on Yamuna River, outside the fort of Agra, in 1561.

A Market Scene, at Kand-i Badam, Weighing and Transport of Almond. This particular illustration is taken from the Baburnama, literally the book or letters of Babur, the memoirs of the founder of the Mughal empire Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad Bābur.

Ragamala illustration for w:Raga Sri: King of love with pages. This illustration caught my eyes due to the fine details and the usage of verious different styles of geometrical designs.

Aurangzeb holds court, as painted by (perhaps) Bichitr; Shaistah Khan stands behind Prince Muhammad Azam.Though he did not encourage Mughal painting, some of the best work was done during in his reign.

Painting of a flower by Mansur, Mughal court painter. Though Indian miniatures usually depicting emperors or figures, but paintings such as these are produced as well.


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