Presentation on theme: "Indian Painting B.A. II Dr. O. P. Parameswaran, Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts, Post Graduate Govt. College for Girls, Sector-11, Chandigarh."— Presentation transcript:
Indian Painting B.A. II Dr. O. P. Parameswaran, Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts, Post Graduate Govt. College for Girls, Sector-11, Chandigarh.
Introduction: The 'Akbar Nama’ painting' is one of the excellent paintings produced at Akbar's court. The theme of the paintings is concerned with the historical aspects and incidents of the life of Akbar.
In the initial stage the 'Akbari Style' was a blend of Persian art with native Indian elements, distinguish from its decorative Persian prototypes by an extended sense of space and an agitated art rarely seen in Persian art. The first examples of Mughal painting are not only lively and realistic, but even contain elements of individual portraiture.
These distinctive qualities would not only continue in later Mughal painting but would eventually affect Rajput art as well. When Akbar happened to meet Western art works, he has immediately instructed his own painters to emulate their quality.
As a result, Mughal artist began to use perspective, to employ light and shade, and to represent the sky more realistically with cloud arrangements and brilliant sunsets. After 1595 Mughal painting reveal the assimilation of western techniques: modeling of three dimensional figures by means of shading and a limited adaption of perspective.
The Akbar-Nama manuscript of the Victoria and Albert Museum (1896), undoubtedly the finest of the Mughal historical manuscript known to us, with its 117 miniature illustrating the events of the earlier part of his reign. A good proportion of the miniatures are unbroken by any text; and where there is text, it is short and not in significant relation to the composition.
Moreover the proportion of double page miniatures occupying the full opening of the manuscripts has much increased. The effect is that the miniatures have lost all close relation to the written text, which may be looked at as a move towards the Indian practice of separating text and illustration or as due to the influence of the western concept of the framed pictures.
In any case it is a step away from the Persian practice. There are no longer margin paintings around a text, but rectangular pictures whichnever go beyond the ruled margin. The horizon is always placed high; often beyond the upper margin, which thus cuts architecture or landscape in an apparently arbitrary way.
A great many figures and other realistic details are introduced, but the whole action is well controlled and the resulting composition is unified and often dramatic.
Striking instances of a strong diagonal axis occur in two of the best known pages, illustrating Akbar's attempt to control a wild elephant as it rushes on to a bridge of boats on the Jhelum. The first of these two double - page picture is by Baswan, the second by Miskina, both of whom are rivalled in this manuscript
The outstanding characteristic of the illustrations of this manuscript as a whole, however, is the realism and what one might call 'straight reporting.' It celebrates the doings of the emperor and is always inclined to stress his personal drive and energy.
Consequently such a subject as Akbar swimming his elephants across the Ganges in 1567 may be, regarded as the most typical. The Composition is by Ikhlas, an artist unknown outside this manuscript and the portraits of Madhu, who has been mentioned as a Specialist of repute in this line.
The emperor dominates the scene held by a courtier in the centre provides the only vertical line, while the arranged echelon formed by the elephants heads makes the inclined axis, which is so frequent in these pages.
The frame cuts off the scene where it makes a balanced composition, but it seems like a section from a wall painting which clearly continues to right and left. If these book illustrations are enlarged by projection of a screen, it is at once apparent how close they are to the great tradition of Indian wall, painting, an art in which the human figure always dominated.
There is only one other big series of Akbar-nama illustrations the sixty one in the Chester Beathy Library in Dublin, covering much the same period as those in the Victoria and Albert Museum and ending in 1580 with the arrival of the first Jesuit mission at the Mughal court.
Akbar certainly took some of his painters on his campaigns, which may partly account for the vigour of the reporting. The virtues of the Akbar- nama manuscript in the Chester Beathy Library are different and connected rather with another tradition established in the later Akbar period.