and the Afghans under Babar in 1526 descendant of Tamerlane and
Genghis Khan built up the Mogul empire which survived till 1837.
They ruled from horse back what they had conquered from horse
back. Till may 1529 the rule of Babar extended from the river Oxus to Bengal and from the
to the Himalayas. The great Mogul was a Turk by nationality, a
religion, a Persian by culture and nomad from heart. Babur was
Humayun and the greatest of the Moghul emperor Akber.
Architecture reached its height under Akber's son Jahangir and
his grand son Shah Jahan. They left a legacy of magnificent
palaces, forts and gardens embellished with luxurious but
delicate decorations. The Taj Mahal, a masterpiece of Moghul architecture
regarded as one of the most well known wonder of the world.
The Mughal emperors introduced
their own style of miniature paintings
with Persian inspiration. Court scenes were depicted in
background was usually hilly landscapes. Flowers & animals
were also vastly
depicted & in these the Indian artists applied their own
skill to develop on
the Persian ideas.
miniatures, as the name indicates were small works, which were
made on perishable material & hence no definite proof of
their birth & development can be traced.
Mughal paintings were a unique blend of Indian, Persian and
that flourished in India during the reign of the Mughal emperors
16th to 18th centuries. It was exclusively a court art and its
depended to a large extent on the patron and his enthusiasm.
Persian themes - battles, court scenes, receptions and legendary
were richly captured with infinite detail by a team of artists.
Mughal painting began during the reign of emperor Humayun
Returning from exile, Humayun brought with him two Persian
artists to India, Mir-Sayyid Ali and Abd-us-samad. The earliest work that comes
under the category of Mughal painting is "The princess of the
of Timur". A
painting that has been repainted throughout the Mughal era at
the command of
The greatest of the Mughal emperors, Akbar (1556-1605), ruled
over a vast
Indian empire and was its greatest patron of arts. He encouraged
scholars, and painters, making his court a centre of culture.
reign, about a hundred artists worked under the guidance of the
artists. Akbar had a childlike love for tales and this is
reflected in what
he commissioned his artists to paint. The Mahabaratha, Ramayana
Persian epics were illustrated. Mughal paintings were lively and
and showed increasing naturalism with illustrated animal fables,
landscape backgrounds and elements of individual portraiture.
The emperor Jahangir (1605-27) showed a strong patronage for
During his reign, Mughal art became more refined with finer
lighter colours. He favoured paintings of events from his own
encouraged portraits and studies of birds, flowers and animals.The elegance and richness of the Jahangir period style continued
reign of Shah Jahan (1628-58) but with an increasing tendency to
and rigid. Genre scenes - such as musical parties, lovers on a
terrace, or ascetics gathered around a fire - became frequent, and the trend
in the reign of Aurangzeb (1658-1707).
Despite a brief revival
reign of Muhammad Shah (1719-48), Mughal painting continued to
decline, and the creative activity ceased during the reign of Shah Alam II