Mughal Paintings II

Mughal paintings were generally created as miniatures either to be collated into book form or possibly as single artistic works combined into albums or folios. They originate in and around the Indian subcontinent. Emerging from the Persian miniature, the Mughal art of painting was also influenced by Indian Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism and thrived from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Mughal painting evolved by mingling or combining the Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu influences. There were artists who developed this art form even further by the application of European techniques especially those involved in the rendering of space and volume.

A rather odd thing in regards to Mughal painting is that they were usually a collaborative effort between a number of artists. The first artist would decide the overall composition, the second would paint what the first envisaged, and a third would focus on the portraiture- executing each and every face shown. Mughal art was generally secular, being illustrations to historical and/or literary works, portraits of royals and their courts, natural life and genre scenes.

Mughal era paintings began as elegant artworks displaying a richness of style and colour. Over time they became stultified. They became cold and rigid through lack of imagination and the over-copying of the first masters.

The three pieces from my collection here display the colourful and vibrant artistic style which first infused the artistic style.

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