Crossing the River
Navrang has shown a lovely plethora of tints to depict the scene of the battle of Thanesar which is taken from the Akbarnama. It is a historic Persian miniature that is festooned with real gold, increasing its worth and value. This painting encapsulates many men and many war animals however it highlights one young geezer who seems to be the commander of the battalions as they cross the river. He wears a beige jama and a green tassel like waist band that tightens around his body. This porcelain complexioned man with deep lines etched over his face wears a grey feathered turban as he carries a long spear in his hand and rides a decorated elephant who is emblazoned with gorgeous ornamented balls around its neck and a saddle cloth that hangs over its back. It is also enhanced with a pink tinted feather that falls over its head band.The high blue river tides picture many soldiers who are either swimming, are in the cavalry or are mounted on elephants. All the geezers wear vibrant jamas and turbans as they take control of their exotically imprinted and designed war animals, holding their swords and spears as they look at their commander for help. They carry flags, shields and floral sheathed armaments as they struggle against the tides. The background shows amazingly contrasted green and beige fort like buildings and minaret that protrude from them as they peak from the lush green trees which stand on the grassy green riverbed.To add further charm to this awestriking piece the artist encloses it in a golden and peach rectangular floral frame which is blessed with jade blue pistils and eye-catching motifs. This painting is the perfect match for those who love ancient Mughal history as it not only enhances their old cultural knowledge but turns out to be a great and precious ornament for their house hence even decorating up their soul.
Persian Miniature Embellished with Real Gold
From the Akbarnama
7.0" x 10.0"
The Mughal school of painting runs parallel to the Mughal dynasty. It came into prominence in the sixteenth century, during the reign of king Akbar. It reached its zenith under the patronage of Akbar’s grandson – king Jahangir. The reign of the latter’s successor king Shah Jahan saw its decline and finally under the unsympathetic Aurangzeb it breathed its last. Indeed, as a school of art, the duration of Mughal painting was a limited one, extending only over approximately two and a half centuries. Actually, it has often been referred to as not exactly a school, but rather an exceptionally brilliant phase in Indian art.
The roots of Mughal painting lay in Samarkand and Herat, where under the patronage of the Timurid kings, Persian art reached its apogee. Babur, a descendant of Timur, and the founder of the Mughal dynasty, speaks of a person named ‘Bihzad’ as ‘a most eminent painter’. It was with the descendants of Bihzad and the deep personal interest taken by Akbar, the grandson of king Babur, that the Mughal school of art started off with a flourish.
Regarding the aesthetics of Mughal painting, one exceptional feature is its commitment to realism or the delineation of likeness. The subjects were majorly drawn from the extremely rich and magnificent court life under the Mughals. That this was a flourishing art during Akbar’s reign is borne out by the list of more than forty painters found in a book written during his era.
However, it was under Akbar’s son Jehangir that Mughal painting gained its highest peaks. Not only portraits and hunting scenes, but also scientific studies of botany and natural history found favor with the artists under the king’s support. The Mughal painters were asked to paint unusual specimens of flora and fauna in their exact likeness. Some of these skilfully painted pictures have survived till today, narrating to us the uniqueness of those rich times.
Under the reign of Shajahan, son of Jahangir, the Mughal school of painting entered its decline. The actual treatment of the subject matter is replaced with more decorative embellishments like rich flowery borders etc. Under Shahjahan architecture scaled new peaks (Taj Mahal etc.), but painting deteriorated. Finally, with the rise of Aurangzeb, Mughal painting breathed its last.