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Mughal and Rajput Painting
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  • Cited by 3
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    Jaeger, Friedrich 2011. Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit.


    Malieckal, Bindu 2009. The English Renaissance, Orientalism, and the Idea of Asia.


    Bailey, Gauvin Alexander 1997. The Lahore Mirat Al-Quds and the Impact of Jesuit Theatre on Mughal Painting. South Asian Studies, Vol. 13, Issue. 1, p. 31.


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    Mughal and Rajput Painting
    • Online ISBN: 9781139055628
    • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275
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Book description

The Mughals - descendants of Timur and Genghiz Khan with strong cultural ties to the Persian world - seized political power in north India in 1526 and became the most important artistically active Muslim dynasty on the subcontinent. In this richly illustrated book, Dr Milo Beach shows how, between 1555 and 1630 in particular, Mughal patronage of the arts was incessant and radically innovative for the Indian context. The author reveals how Mughal painting was defined by the styles popular at the imperial court, whereas Pajput painting consisted of many local court styles, corresponding to the various Hindu kingdoms, each with different tastes and artistic inspirations. By reproducing nearly 200 examples in this study, Milo Beach traces the interplay of the traditions of Mughal and Rajput painting from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. He demonstrates the tolerance each showed towards outside influence and change and thus helps to define a uniquely Indian attitude towards the arts.

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  • 1 - Painting in North India before 1540
    pp 4-14
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275.003
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religious sanctuaries had long been decorated with carved and painted figures, and these were often accompanied by illustrative wall murals and ornamental designs. The Muslims were interested in illustrated copies of Persian texts, and in styles of painting that recalled their homelands. The artistic style developed by one specific Muslim dynasty, the Mughals, eventually came to dominate, even if briefly, the arts of north India. The local types of painting are most usefully termed "pre-Mughal" and can be divided into three basic categories: Hindu, Jain, and Muslim - the Mughals were the most important, but not the first of the Muslim dynasties in India. Pre-Mughal Hindu painting is best represented by a series of Bhagavata Purana illustrations datable to about 1540. While Jain or Western Indian painting generally kept its distance from Muslim styles, recent important research has transformed understanding of the overall character of painting for Jain patrons.
  • 2 - 1540–1580: Painting at Muslim courts
    pp 15-38
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275.004
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The illustrations made by the Muslim painters Mir Sayyid Ali, Abd as-Samad, Mir Musavvir and Dust Muhammad, are among the earliest identifiably imperial Mughal paintings. They brought knowledge of the latest Iranian artistic techniques and styles to Humayun's court. Mughal historical painting, with its profusion of specific details and lively interplay of actions and personalities, was initiated by the time of Humayun's rule; the emperor had also commissioned visual records of interesting fauna. The creation of a unified and distinctive artistic style from the combination of Iranian court and provincial styles with disparate but active regional Indian traditions is among the most fascinating episodes of Indian or Islamic art. The profound influence that this new Mughal style had on the various geographically, culturally, and religiously distinct regions of the subcontinent, demands initial concentration on Mughal painting when exploring painting within India generally.
  • 3 - 1580–1600: The new imperial style and its impact
    pp 39-67
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275.005
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Daswanth was one of the major painters in Emperor Akbar's court, and his compositions in the Razmnama are extraordinarily powerful, and of a particular character, often so visually irrational as to seem nightmare visions. The Razmnama text is a translation into Persian of a great Hindu epic, Mahabharata, originally written in Sanskrit. Daswanth's work is due to the artist's particular interpretive skills; it is not an inevitable response to the text. The imperial Razmnama project was transitional to a new direction which Mughal manuscript painting took in the 1580s, when Akbar was no longer primarily interested in the fantasy adventure stories of his youth, the Hamzanama or Tutinama. The most luxurious level of imperial style during these years, which we associate with the city of Lahore, where Akbar lived between 1585 and 1598, is best defined by a series of volumes of poetical texts, one of which would certainly be the 1588 Diwan of Anwan.
  • 4 - 1600–1660: Mughal painting and the rise of local workshops
    pp 68-156
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275.006
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The Akbarnamas were official state documents meant to dazzle with their splendour, and to create, uphold, and reinforce tradition. Other works, made for private imperial appreciation, therefore introduce more clearly and easily the new concerns that will dominate Mughal painting during the first three decades of the seventeenth century, and which are only hinted at in the later Akbarnama. Abu'l Hasan, who certainly studied with Aqa Riza, is therefore far more receptive to the new ideas and concerns for naturalistic observation already developed at the imperial Mughal court. The Muezzin and the Drunkard, from the Bustan, is set in and around a small mosque: one of the most vivid, exact depictions of architecture in all Mughal painting. The patronage of painting at Deccani courts may have been intensified by the known activity of the rival Mughal workshops, a situation increasingly true also in the Rajput states.
  • 5 - 1660–1700: The growth of local styles
    pp 157-173
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275.007
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Until the eighteenth century, painting for Rajput patrons was almost completely confined to the illustration of familiar, traditional texts. Ragamalas, together with episodes from the god Krishna's life, were the most popular subjects for Rajput painters. While many states in Rajasthan developed distinctive local artistic traditions, different courts in the same geographic area, such as Bikaner and Jodhpur, for example, or Sirohi and Mewar, usually shared general traits. This allows us to develop also a sense for broad regional styles. Mewar, bordered by Sirohi on the west, was also adjoined by the central Indian kingdom of Malwa to the southeast. Bundi and Kota were bordered by Malwa to the south and Mewar on the west, and it is no surprise that the ragamala tradition at the two courts relates closely to Ragamalas from Mewar, Sirohi, and Malwa. Among Rajasthani schools, Bikaner painting remained closest to the Mughal style for the longest period of time.
  • 6 - 1700–1800: The Dominance of Rajput Painting
    pp 174-213
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275.008
  • View abstract
    Summary
    At the opening of the eighteenth century, Rajput painting remains recognizably different in intent from traditional Mughal attitudes. Krishna Fluting, one of the greatest Rajput pictures, was painted in either Udaipur or central India about 1700. It is a visually vibrant work, despite a very limited number of colors and a rigidly symmetrical composition. During the eighteenth century, painters working at Kota continued to explore further the innovations that had begun almost a century earlier, and hunting scenes remained those which prompted the greatest results. At both Kota and Mewar, as in other states, more traditional types of painting continued contemporaneously. Scenes of Krishna's life or texts such as the Ragamala were seldom affected by the more innovative subjects and techniques practiced. A work from the Rathor state of Kishangarh re-evokes Mughal painting of almost a century earlier. Like Kishangarh, Bikaner was also an offshoot of the Rathor state of Marwar.
  • 7 - 1800–1858: Traditionalism and new influences
    pp 214-228
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275.009
  • View abstract
    Summary
    Many of the most exciting paintings from Mewar State were created not for the Maharana, but at the thikana of Devgarh. Perhaps more than any other Rajput school, Jodhpur has moved from an intense identification with the Mughal style to a revival of the strong, flat shapes, bright colors, and clear patterns of the pre-Mughal Rajput style. At all the Rajput schools of painting in Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills, Mughal standards and taste had become influential and then declined, although according to very different schedules. An increasingly strong political and cultural presence throughout eastern India, the English too began to patronize painting. One of the most extraordinary figures of this period was Ghazi-ud-din of Oudh, given the title King of Oudh by the British. The portrait of Ghazi-ud-din has no counterpart in India outside the Mughal courtly tradition, of which it is a late, provincial, and isolated reflection.
  • Bibliographical essay
    pp 240-247
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521400275.011
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This bibliography contains a list of reference articles and books that reveals the different styles and subjects of Mughal and Rajput painting and the interplay of the two traditions. Several studies provide an overview of the various regional styles of manuscript painting that immediately preceded the advent of Mughal influence. Historically, it was the ground-breaking study by Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, Rajput Painting, London, 1916, that launched interest in the field and encouraged the collecting of Rajput works in Europe and America. Writings about specific schools of painting in the hill regions are far more plentiful than those for Rajasthan. The origin and definition of early Mughal painting continue to be disputed. The most thorough study is Chandra, Tuti-nama. The interplay of local and imported traditions in Western India is discussed in B. N. Goswamy and A. L. Dallapiccola, A Place Apart- Painting in Kutch, 1/20-1820, Delhi, 1983.

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.


MiloCleveland Beach , Early Mughal Painting, New York and London, 1987.

Pierredu Jarric , Akbar and the Jesuits, translated by C. H. Payne , London, 1926.

Max Loehr , “Some Fundamental Issues in the History of Chinese Painting,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Fall 1965.

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