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Art & Literature Throughout the Ages - Original

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Amy Principe
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« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2008, 11:07:42 am »

Miniature painting

In western India from the 16th to 18th century miniature painting developed. These small paintings were part of manuscripts written at the time and illustrate the subjects of the manuscripts. These miniatures are found in some " Jain " manuscripts and are of 2 to 4 inches in size.

The pattern of large scale wall painting which had dominated the scene, witnessed the advent of miniature paintings during the 11th & 12th centuries. This new style figured first in the form of illustrations etched on palm-leaf manuscripts. The contents of these manuscripts included literature on the Buddhism & Jainism. In eastern India, the principal centres of artistic and intellectual activities of the Buddhist religion were Nalanda, Odantapuri, Vikramshila and Somarpura situated in the Pala kingdom (Bengal & Bihar).

 
Mughal paintingIt was in the 14th century A.D. that paper replaced the palm leaf. The jain style of paintings attained a high degree of development by th elate 15th and 16th century. A new trend in manuscript illustration was set by a manuscript of the Nimatnama painted at Mandu, during the reign of Nasir shah (1500 - 1510 AD). This represent a synthesis of the indigenous and the Persion style, thought it was the latter which dominated the Mandu manuscripts. There was another style of painting known as Lodi Khuladar that flourished in the Sultanate's dominion of North India extending from delhi to Jaunpur.

Akbar's reign (1556-1605) ushered a new era in Indian miniature painting. He was the first morarch who established in India an atelier under the supervision of two Persian master artists, Mir Sayyed Ali and Abdul-ul-Sanad Khan. Earlier, both of them had served under the patronage of Humayun in Kabul and accompanied him to India when he regained his throne in 1555. Later, a number of artists were engaged to work under their guidance to decorate Akbar's imperial studio at fatehpur Sikri. One of the first productions of that school of miniature painting was the HAMZANAMA series, which according to the court historian, Badayuni, was started in 1567 and completed in 1582. It is interesting that most of artists beloned to the Hindu communities hailing from Gujrat, Gwalior and kashmir, who gave a birth to a new school of painting, popularly known as the Mughal School of miniature Paintings.

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