Mughal Paintings

Birth of Salim | Krishna Lifting Mount Govedhana | Falcon on Bird Rest | Kabir And Raidas |

Marriage Procession of Dara Shikoh

Birth of Salim

This painting was made by Ram das in Akbar’s period painted in opaque water color and gold on paper
SUBJECT MATTER- This painting is one of the illustrations from the “Akbarnama” an official chronicle written by Abul fazal on Akbar’s life and reign in 1564, Akbar lost his new born twin sons from one of his wives after which he was worried about having a male successor for his empire. He visited the Sufi sheikh Saleem Chishti at Sikri and prayed for a early 1569, one of his wives became pregnant. She went to Sikri and gave birth there to a son who was named Salim after the sheikh. He later became the emperor Jahangir.

DESCRIPTION – This painting is based on the rejoicings at the birth of prince Salim at Fatehpur Sikri. It is a combination of three scenes, an arrival view of the zenana and the birth chamber, a central courtyard where musicians play music and out side the wall where alms are distributed to beggars.

The upper portion shows Akbar’s wife surrounded by midwives. The royal heir is being taken care of by all the ladies present. It is an arrival view of the encloser as we can also see the rooftop where a peacock is preached. beyond this is a Persian style rocky landscape. The central compartment is lined by a white wall which also act like a back ground for musicians playing instruments in its front. On the right side a lady attendant passes a tray of sweets to the male servants breaking the good news. The enthusiasm of the servants and the musicians is portrayed by their dynamic poses playing all kinds of instruments of that time from percussion drums to trumpets. The lower compartment separated with the brown boundary wall has crowed surging ahead with blessing and praises for the new born and the king. The court servants are seen distributing alms to all present. There is an atmosphere of excitement and celebration all over.

There is strong color contrast in draperies, skin tones, architecture and interiors. This multicolor composition has light and shade in all its visual imagery that came as a European influence through Britishers. The maturity of treatment in all aspects of the composition shows that Akbar’s artist had by now comfortably absorbed the foreign influence from Persia as well as Europe and made them a part of their own characteristics style.

Krishna Lifting Mount Govardhana

Artist – Miskin, Period- 1585-90A.D., medium – tempera on paper (water colour) School Mughal (Akbar) School of art.

 Description: It is an early painting of Akbar’s time. In this vertical painting Krishna was shown lifting mount Goverdhana on the lifting on the little finger on his left hand. A big multi coloured mountain with deer, monkeys, trees, shrubs and grassy has been painted. The handling of the huge mountains shows Persian influence. Under the mountains, all “Brijvasi” have gathered with their cattle to get shelter from the deluge by the angry rain God Indra. On the top, sky is shown with blue colour. Even under the mountain dark blue colour sky is shown. Lord Krishna is painted in large size (Virat roopa). Krishna is dressed in his “pitamber” (Deep yellow) with a large garland of white flower s, standing in a relaxed posture lifting the huge mountain effortlessly. Mostly figures are one and half chasm which an influence of Persian art. is also on the right side of Krishna, a tree is shown in bright green colour.

    Falcon on Bird Rest

Artist – Ustad Mansoor, period – 1618-1620 A.D. (Jahangir’s time), medium – tempera on paper (water colour), School – Mughal school of art.

Description – This famous painting painted by Ustad Mansoor during Jahangir ‘s time. He was a keen falconer and treasured fine specimens of falcons, brought from different place. A superb falcon brought from Persia was modeled by a cat died. Jahangir asked his painter to paint his precious pet falcon to be preserved in Jahangir Nama. Ustad Mansoor knew the fondness of emperor for his pet falcon. In this painting a tamed falcon is sitting on a cushioned bird rest. On the bird rest, Nadir – ul – Asr is signed by Ustad Mansoor who was awarded this title. The cruel eye of falcon can be seen in this painting. The falcon is painted in white against a yellow background with brown details of its folded wings, a sharp beak and round vigilant eyes is painted in light brown and yellow ochar deep colour.

Three words Jahangir Patashah at top, Bahari near the falcon and Uttam on the bottom are written. Bahari means falcon and Uttam means excellent.

Kabir and Raidas

Artist – Faquirullah khan, Period – 1640 A.D., (Shahjahan’s time), Medium – tempera on paper (water colour), School – Mughal School of art.

 Description:  This horizontal painting of saint KABEER shows him weaving a garment on his loom, in a meditating mood. The other saint, RAIDAS sitting closed by, is also in the same mood. Both are meditating on a same religious topic. The painting brings simple and peaceful Indian village life, where work is worship. The huts of the saints are in rural Indian villages. The colours used are brown and light blue. The border of the painting is light brown and shades are very fine. DARA SHIKOH (son of shahjahan) resected both Hindu and Muslim saints. This is the master piece of the paintings painted during that time.

Marriage Procession Of Dara Shikoh

Artist – Haji Madni, Period – 1750 A.D. (Oudh – Mughal) Medium – Tempera on paper (water colour) school – Mughal school of Art.  

 Description: This magnificent painting, an all-time master piece, is a vertical brilliant depiction of the marriage procession of Dara Shikoh who is riding alert on a decorated horse. While his father is also riding on another decorated horse, just behind Dara Shikoh’s horse. He is followed by three attendant one bearing a candle, the second one holding the horse and the third one is carrying a chowri. The royal people are shown riding horses and some are on foot proceeding towards the bride’s house. A large gathering of men and woman is joyfully receiving the Barat. All the figures are eK-chasm.

Marvelous depiction of various types of fireworks can be seen in the background. Well decorated border is there. White, Red, Green, Maroon, Turquoise blue with a touch of Greyish black colour have been used. Golden colour has also been used at important places.

This meticulously done painting brings forth all the gaiety and joy of the festive occasion.

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