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Few More Mughal Illustrated Manuscripts

Iyar-I-Danish is another feather in the cap for Mughal illustrations. Its basically a book of fables for tutoring of Princes. The illustration takes its inspiration from fight between crow and owl for proving one’s superiority. Interestingly enough, the presentation method used in the book reminds of another wonderful illustration named Anvar-I-Suhaili. This one is quite imaginative as it depicts stories of birds and different animals in wild life environment. These animals have been depicted having human like emotions. Anvar-I-Suhaili gives one a lively feel of that era with that touch of humor which makes it even more priceless. Basically Persian illustration, this one also has typical Indian elements. Truly a depiction of cultural co-existence and respect. 


Tilasm and Zodiac have also managed to found a place in the annals of Mughal manuscripts. As many as 157 paintings and 32 pages combine together to form manuscript which is basically a collection of talisman of enchanting practices. The manuscript is also an asset in terms of representing animals and birds. Written between 1567-1570 AD, this manuscript is a powerful representation of Indian fauna combined with black ritualism and drama.


 If we further analyze the Mughal illustrations, we will find that earlier pictures of the illustrated manuscript are mainly inspired from Persian Safavid tradition. But later on, indigenous subject and treatment was found at the bottom of many illustrations. Subjects chosen from Indian context were; black bear of Kashmir, banyan, mango, papal trees which formed the basic of Indian flora and fauna and several animals like monkey, cow and birds etc. whereas prime Persian subjects included were; peaches, budding plums, and amber foliage etc.


November 16, 2008 Posted by | Mughal Illustrated Manuscripts | , , | Leave a comment

History of Mughal Illustrated Manuscripts

persian-manuscriptTalking about manuscripts, the Mughal School of Painting is a great testimony of rich Indian culture. Most of the Mughal emperors were renowned as great patrons of arts and literature. Most famous among them are, Akbar and Jahangir. Both of them encouraged arts and were also proud owner of aesthetic senses. Mughal styles of painting were based on mixture of Indo Persian style. The rich cultural legacy and spirit is s beautifully reflected in Mughal miniatures and illustrated manuscripts. Most famous among them are; Akbarnama, Anvar-I-Suhaili, Dastan-I-Amir Hamza, Babur-Nama, Tutinama, Ramza-Nama, and Tuzuk- I-Jahangiri to name a few.


Interestingly, Sanskrit classic Sukasaptati (Seventy tales of a Parrot) is said to be the inspiration for Tutinama which was composed between the periods of 1560-1568 AD. These illustrations were done with the help of Indian artists like Basawan and Daswant. Tutinama has a close relation with another great work Hamza Nama. The main illustration objects are animals and birds like, cranes, parrot, tigers, peacocks, antelope, owls, monkey, lions, panthers, and jackals etc.


Dastan-I Amir Hamza is about uncle of the prophet Mohammad named Amir Hamza. It covers his passionate and remarkable adventures of Amir Hamza. Composed between1562 and 1582 A.D, the manuscript consists of 12-14 volumes of a hundred folios each. This is one of the most famous legacies of Mughal era. Amir Hamza also has several illustrations done by Persian artists in collaboration with Indian artists.

November 10, 2008 Posted by | Mughal Illustrated Manuscripts | , , | Leave a comment