Mughal Architecture, Painting and Music

Mughal Architecture, Painting and Music
Mughal Paintings

The development of painting in India began during the reign of Humayun. After being defeated by Sher Shah, he took the service of Iranian painters to portray the manuscript of Tithur-e-Khanid Taimuria – a residence in Iran.


These painters were Mir Syed Ali Siraji and Khwaja Abdul Samad Tabriji. Siraji and Tabrizi decisively held. Indian painters mostly depicted religious themes. While the Iranian painters depicted the life of the courtiers, battle scenes etc. The use of paper was becoming popular in India since the Sultanate period.

Painting during Akbar- Mir Syed Ali and Khwaja Abdus Samad were in Akbar’s court. According to Abul Fazl, Akbar conferred upon him the title of Sirin-i-Kalam. The depiction of Hamzanama, the greatest plan during Akbar, began in 1562 AD.

This is called Dastan-e-Amir-Hamza. It has a live depiction of Akbar’s youth. Abul Fazal, Badauni and Shahnawaz Khan believe that its depiction began with the inspiration of Akbar and was first started under the guidance of Mir Syed Ali. It was then completed under the direction of Khwaja Abdusamad.

Mullah Daud Qazvini believes that Hamzanama was the brainchild of Humayun and was accomplished under the guidance of Mir Syed Ali. According to Abul Fazal, there were 17 artists in Akbar’s photograph, but the actual number may be more.

Hindus outnumbered them. Some of them are Dasbant, Basaban, Keshav Lal, Mukund, Mishikan, Farooq, Kalamak, Madho, Jagan, Mahesh, Hemkaran, Tara, Sabal, Harivansh, Ram etc.

Values for the Arts

Painting was a collective effort during this period. More than one artist used to create a picture together. The artists were cash-paid employees. There were mainly two subjects of painting at the time of Akbar – 1. Depiction of everyday events of the court 2. Image depiction.

Indian influence on Mughal painting deepened during Akbar’s time. In 1562 AD, when the famous portrait of Tansen’s arrival in the Mughal court was made, the cooperation of the Hindu and Persian system began to appear.

Paintings were done on the walls of Fatehpur Sikri with the combined diligence of both Hindu and Muslim artists. Abdusamad, Farukh Baig, Khusro Kuli and Jamshed were foreign artists in Akbar’s court. Akbar used to say that I feel as if the painter had a very strange means of identifying God.

Dacbat was the first leading painter of his time at the time of Akbar. He was the son of a proverb. He depicted Rajmanama. Later became deranged and committed suicide in 1584 AD. Muhammad Sharif, the court son of Abdus Samad, supervised the Raznama.

Akbar Period

During Akbar, manuscripts of some important works have been prepared which are as follows- Ramayana, Akbarnama, Anbar Suhay, Baburnama, Khamsa, Tithi-e-Alfie, Kaliyadaman. Rajput painting especially in this period influenced the Mughal style of painting.

Its specialty was the use of round brushes instead of wide brushes. With this, dark blue and dark red color became more used. European painting also influenced the Mughal style of painting during the reign of Akbar. Some specimens of European painting reached Akbar’s court through the courtesans.

From this Mughal painters assumed two characteristics – 1. Illustration of a particular person 2. Making small objects visible in the scene (Technique of Foreshortening).

Salim – Shahzada Salim started an illustration in Agra under the leadership of a Herati migrant painter named Aga Reza.

Jahangir – The reign of Jahangir was an era of Mughal painting. There were two important features of painting during Jahangir’s period –

1. Moroccan as 2. Decorated margin.

In Jahangir, the depiction of the manuscript was less important than the imagery. Two new elements were added to the painting of Jahangir – 1. Its painting style has the predominance of the stylistic style. 2. It attempted to make painting realistic and realistic.

Wide margins were used in paintings of this period. Those were embellished with flower-leaves, trees, and human figures. Apart from painting the scenes of hunting, war and court, the art of drawing animals developed more during Jahangir’s time.

Ustad Mansoor was very well known in this area. Tujuk-e-Jahangiri is the only example of a manuscript picture. From the time of Jahangir, the principles of divine authority of the king were made the subject of painting. It became even more important during the reign of Shah Jahan.

In the court of Jahangir were Persian painters Aga Reza, Abul Hasan, Muhammad Nadir, Muhammad Murad and Ustad Mansoor. Bishan Das and Govardhan were prominent among the Hindu painters. The painter in Jahangir’s court was Dolat, who at the behest of the emperor drew a portrait of his fellow painters.

Ustaad Mansoor

Jahangir sent Bishandas to the court of Iran and he was asked to take pictures of the Shah of Persia and his important emirs and relatives. While praising the specialty of Ustad Mansoor and Abul Hasan, they were given the titles of Nadir-ul-Asar and Nadir-uj-Jaman respectively.

Initially, Manohar, Nanha and Farooq Baig were tasked with preparing the image. Manohar’s name is not found in Tujuk-e-Jahangiri. A portrait of Jahangir’s era depicts Jahangir welcoming and embracing Shah Abbas of Iran and a globe under his feet but the reality is that Jahangir never met Shah Abbas. In the same way, Jahangir is shown slapping his head on the severed head of Jahangir’s arch enemy Malik Amber while Jahangir was not able to beat him in battle. Manohar, Bishan Das and Mansoor all came in the last years of Akbar’s reign. Manohar was the son of Basaban. The influence of European painting deepened during Jahangir. Under the influence of European painting, the painters of Jahangir chose the following subjects:

1. Birth of Jesus 2. Princess Mary and Babies 3. Pictures of martyrs of various saints 4. Aura 5. Wings angels 6. Thunder clouds.

But Mughal painters did not adopt oil painting. Jahangir was a good connoisseur of self-painting. He has written in Tujuk-e-Jahangiri that I can tell by looking at the picture who has made it. Which painter has made different parts of it. Once upon Jahangir’s insistence, the portrait brought by Sir Tomas Rowe was made by his court painters in real time. Even Sir Tomas Rowe could not recognize the original picture.

Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb

Painting during Shah Jahan does not have the liveliness that was in Jahangir’s time. There is a lot of emphasis on adornment and more emphasis is given on gold decoration instead of colors, and the painting itself expired during Aurangzeb.

Rajasthani painting- Mewar, Amer, Bundi, Gujarat, Jodhpur, Malwa etc. were important centers of Rajasthani painting. In Rajasthani painting, depicting nature is considered important. Singing birds and jumping animals were popular subjects of painting.

The Nithardin Gharana of Mewar is the oldest school in the Rajasthani group. The specialty of the Jodhpur and Nagor schools was that the eyes of man were made like the eyes of fish. On the other hand Kishangarh school is more lyrical and sensitive.

The credit for starting it goes to Maharaja Sawant Singh. Extremely beautiful paintings were made in the latter part of the 10th century by the Kangra School, which had a branch of the Tehri Gahadwal School, and it developed into a form of Punjabi and Sikh painting in the early 19th century.

The most skilled painter of the Kangra style was Bholaram. He was of Garhwal. Bhola Rao’s use of colors is very beautiful and his pictures of animals, trees, plants etc. are important for the fine ear and beauty of the brush despite its clear ancient traditions. Her nighttime pictures are particularly beautiful.

Music art

According to Abul Fazl, there were 36 singers in Akbar’s court, most prominent among them were Tansen and Bajbahadur. Tansen Dhrupad was a singer. His early mentor was Muhammad Gauss. Then he was educated in music from Swami Haridas.

He discovered an instrument called Rudraveena. In addition, he invented ragas like Mian’s Malhar, Mian’s Todi, courtier Kanheer etc. Tansen’s initial name was Ramtanu Pandey. Abul Fazl has written about Tansen, the singer like him has not been in India even in the last thousand years.

Shah Jahan himself was a good singer. In its court, Tansen’s son-in-law Lal Khan and Tansen’s son Vilas Khan lived. Sukh Sen and Pandit Jagannath also lived in his court. Shah Jahan gave the title of Gunasamudra to Lal Khan and Mahakavi Rai to Pandit Jagannath.


Mughal Architecture, Painting and Music | Mughal Architecture, Painting and Music

Mughal Architecture, Painting and Music |Mughal Architecture, Painting and Music

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