Indian Miniature Painting - Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century
The Origin of Miniature Paintings
Descended from the art of Persia and Turkey, these paintings and the artists were supported by Mughal Emperors the Rajput Kings.
In many ways, the subjects and objects painted in these paintings are narrative. They show how the people of India lived in those days. On a close look, we can see the style of living and the types of costumes and ornaments these people were wearing in the medieval or post-medieval era. For those who want to know more about the living of Indian Princes, Kings, and Emperors of those days, here are some articles which narrate the different aspects of these paintings.
Materials Used in Miniature Paintings
The golden period of the paintings in India was during the 16th and the 17 century. The Mughal Emperor, Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and other Mughal Emperors supported the artists for painting the miniature art. Many Hindu and Rajput kings also supported these painting artist.
The materials used by the artists were general self-made. Mainly the material was soft and thin skin, copper plates and ivory plates. In France and Italy, the artists had used metal plates and ivory as the base material, too. In the later years, papers were also used for this type of paintings. The leather used as a base material was the vellum. a fine parchment made originally from the skin of a calf or smaller creatures.
These miniature paintings carrying a perceptible resemblance to their counterparts in Persia, The Persian Paintings, depicted the life and lifestyle of the Mughal and Rajput Kings of the time. These paintings narrated the subjects like how the Mughal and Rajput princes lived, what they wear and how they fought their wars. However, the major portion of the artists’ endeavours was devoted to drawing the visual narration about the ways in which these medieval kings and princes enjoyed their life. Thus these paintings were not only the mute spectator of India’s medieval history, but they are the honest witnesses of the social and cultural mirror of the period.
However, the major portions of the artists’ endeavours were devoted to showing the ways and manners in which these medieval kings and princes enjoyed their life. Thus these small Mniature paintings were not only the mute spectator of their era, but they still are the authenticated witness of the social and cultural development of medieval India.
While looking at the Mughal Era we can see that they resemble the Persian style of paintings. It is so because the artists who did Mughal era paintings were mainly influenced by the Persian paintings and they were initially trained by two great painters who had come to
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