#Mughalpaintings originate in Southern Asia at a time when that area was called Persia. They were generally created as book illustrations or as single works of art to be included into albums and flourished between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Mughal paintings concentrated on realistic portraiture, the depiction of animals, birds and plants as they really appeared. Making them, today, a tremendous source of information – historical, biological etc. The great painters of their day illustrated the Persian literary works but found that the Mughal emperors- wonderful diarists that they were – provided not only opportunity to lavishly decorate text but also illustrate their memoirs via portraits, historical events, courtly life, flora and fauna. Aside from the fact that they were well compensated for their endeavours. It was typical of Persian art to richly decorate the borders framing a central image.
The images of the Myna bird and the pair of Mallard ducks are typical of the style. The decorated border, the gold work all enclosing a central image. Even the great artworks of the time are unsigned for though we can assess who the leading artists were (through historical writings) we cannot attribute individual pieces of art to any one artist. Only a handful are actually signed in any way. There is an inscription on the image with the mallards but you will have to look closely. It resides along the bottom right corner of the central image – which makes it 1mm tall and 25mm long – and unreadable without a magnifying glass and there are two stamps on the verso of the Myna bird. I have contacted a specialist in the hopes of deciphering both inscription and stamp. Next we’ll look at three other Mughal paintings I have.