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A Rustic Concert, Govardhan, 1625

December 31, 1624
Mirza Firuz Shah
Jahangir 1605–1627




Leafing through Jahangir’s or Shah Jahan’s albums, one would have come upon folios of calligraphy by contemporary or earlier scribes, portraits of the royal family, miniatures removed from Persian or Mughal manuscripts, European prints, animal studies, and pictures such as this, showing musicians performing in the countryside. For the emperor, most of whose life was spent in the formal ambiance of the court, these genre subjects must have been refreshing, vicarious strolls into a more relaxed orbit. Akbar had commissioned such subjects, the origin of which can be traced to the studies of servants in the House of Timur (Figure I). But European example further spurred Mughal artists in this direction, which was a specialty of Govardhan. This portrayal of musicians performing for a holy man, right, and his servant (?) is particularly indebted to Europe in the handling of a distant landscape. Paradoxically, this imported idea enabled Govardhan to paint one of the most Indian of scenes. Beyond the tents, the panorama includes thatch-roofed village houses, elephants, a horse cart, and many other nostalgic observations from life. In discussing Plate 24, also by Govardhan, we have considered his characterizations in very general terms. Minor clues to his style arc also helpful, such as his way of drawing thin, bony fingers, and edging folds of cloth with sinuous, wiggling outlines. He also liked to bring out fine details from broadly brushed areas of grays and tans. To Read More Visit This Book Link


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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