Sunday, November 29, 2009



The Mughals were lovers of the art of painting. Humayun is said to have patronised two master­painters, Abdus Samad and Mir Sayyid AlL They were ordered to paint the famous Dastan-i-Amir Hamzah. Akbar during his reign brought about the synthesis of Indian and Persian styles. Indian themes and landscapes, and colours gained importance. European style was introduced by Portuguese priests in Akbar's court. The most famous of painters were Basawan, Daswanath and Haribans, Abdus Samad and Farruk Beg. Jahangir was a connoisseur of art and a keen collector of historical paintings. Under his influence, Persian influence was eliminated and a new style developed which was purely Indian. Jahangir had a trained eye for the niceties of the art and he claimed that he could identify the hands of several artists in a composite picture. Portrait painting reached a climax in his period. In his time the most famous painters were Aga Raja, Muhammad Nadir and Muhammad Murad, Bishan Das, Manohar and Govardhan.

After his death the art of painting started declining. However, with the artists dispersing to various provincial capitals, development of various other schools of painting took place-the Rajasthani, the Pahari, etc.
Besides the Mughal style there grew up in this age a distinct school of painting in. Rajputana. The Rajput paint­ings were excellent masterpieces from Hindu mythology, village life and pastimes of the common people. Their pictures are remarkable for their brilliance and decorative effect as well as for their spiritual and emotional impact. Mughal painting had as its themes court scenes, battle scenes and hunting besides portraits.

MUSIC The Mughals appreciated music. Babur is said to have composed songs. Akbar was a lover of music. His court was adorned by famous musicians like Tansen of Gwalior and Baz Bahadur of Malwa. Shah Jahan was fond of vocal and instrumental music. The two great Hindu musicians of his time were Jagannath and Janardhan Bhatta. But Aurangzeb who was a puritan dismissed singing from his court. However, ironically, the largest number of books on classical music were written in his reign.

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