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3The Mughal School of Miniature PaintingMughal painting is the style of miniature painting thatdeveloped in the northern Indian subcontinent in thesixteenth century and continued till the mid–nineteenthcentury. It is known for its sophisticated techniques anddiverse range of subjects and themes. The Mughal miniaturepainting inspired and resonated in subsequent schools andstyles of Indian painting, thereby, confirming a definiteposition for the Mughal style within the Indian school ofpaintings.The Mughals were patrons of various art forms. EveryMughal successor, based on his taste and preferences,contributed towards enhancing the status of art, viz.,calligraphy, painting, architecture, bookmaking, bookillustration projects, etc. They took keen interest in artists’ateliers and nurtured unprecedented new styles thatheightened and accelerated the existing art scenario ofIndia. Therefore, for understanding the Mughal Painting, thepolitical history and genealogy of the Mughal dynasty is oftentaken into account.Influences on Mughal PaintingThe Mughal style of miniature painting was responsible forthe amalgamation of indigenous themes and styles alongwith Persian and later European themes and styles. The artsof this period reflect a synthesis of foreign influences andindigenous flavour. The peak of Mughal painting presented ahighly sophisticated blend of the Islamic, Hindu and Europeanvisual culture and aesthetics. Given this diverse yet inclusivenature, the affluence of the artworks produced in India duringthis period surpasses the conventional and indigenousIndian and Iranian painting of that time. The significance ofthis style lies in the purpose and efforts of its patrons andthe unmatched skill of its artists. Together, they envisagedand expressed a congregation of tastes, philosophies andfaiths by their extraordinary visual language.2020-21
36ANINTRODUCTIONTOINDIANART—PARTIIIn the Mughal courts, arts became more formalised asthere were workshops and many artists were brought fromIran, which resulted in a harmonious blend of Indo-Iranianstyles, especially during its early years. This celebratedeminence in Mughal art was possible only due to its distinctivecharacter of assimilating and engaging artists of both Indianand Iranian origins, who contributed towards making, andfurther elevating the artistic paradigm of the Mughal style.The Mughal atelier consisted of calligraphers, painters, gildersand binders. Paintings recorded and documented significantevents, personalities and interests of the emperors. These weremeant to be seen by the royals only. The paintings were madeto suit the sensitivity of the royals or often made as intellectualstimulation. The paintings were a part of manuscriptsand albums.

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