Unfolding the History of Mughal Painting
Merging Traditions and Imperial Taste.
The centerpiece of Into India is the gallery of sumptuously realized paintings from the imperial Mughal court, dating from the midsixteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries. Mughal paintings are known the world over for their brilliant colors, impossibly precise detail, and vivid portrayals of the stories and histories that captivated the powerful Mughal emperors of India and their courtly circles.
It was primarily the Emperor Akbar’s (reigned 1556-1605) penchant for lavishly illustrated action-filled stories that fueled the development of Mughal painting. To his atelier led by the seven master painters from Iran, he added more than one hundred local Indian artists. They merged Persian court styles with local idioms and aspects inspired from European oil paintings and engravings to create a distinctive new style of painting, full of unprecedented vitality, in accordance with the tastes of their patrons.
Krishna Cleaves the Demon Narakasura with his Discus.
From a Harivamsha («Genealogy of Krishna»)
- India, ca. 1585–90.
- Opaque watercolor and gold on paper, mounted as an album page.
- 30.1 x 18.1 cm.
- Edwin Binney 3rd Collection. 1990.286.