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Mughal emperor Babur receiving Uzbek and Rajput envoys in a garden at Agra,

December 31, 1525
Internet Archive
Babur 1526–1530

Mughal emperor Babur receiving Uzbek and Rajput envoys in a garden at Agra,



Babur (r. 1526-1531), a Central Asian prince descended from the great ruler Timur, was the founder of the Mughal empire. He wrote an account of his life in his first language, Chaghatay Turkish. By the time Akbar succeeded to the throne, few at court understood the language, and in 1589 the emperor ordered Babur's memoirs to be translated into Persian. Several illustrated copies were made for the emperor. In this page from a copy done in about 1590, an event of 1582 celebrating Babur's recent victory over Ibrahim Lodi is depicted. The new ruler is shown seated beneath a scarlet rectangular canopy, sitting on a low platform receiving Uzbek envoys in the garden full of flowers and blossoming trees. Behind him, at the top of the composition, are the red sandstone walls of a city, with figures being allowed entry through a wooden door in the gateway.The time taken to complete the painting, 50 days, is recorded in minute lettering at bottom left of the page. A contemporary inscription records the name of the artist, Ramdas. The most remarkable artistic project from Akbar's reign is the Hamzanama ("Tales of Hamza"), a series of giant pictures on cotton describing the fabulous adventures of Amir Hamza, an uncle of the Prophet. The paintings are perfect visual equivalents of Akbar's surging spirit during the he had taken full control of the government and was advancing his schemes with godlike energy and intelligence. A picture such as Mirdukht's Escape (Plate 2) fairly bursts from the page. Water seethes and pounds, men dash, and the heroine gestures with theatrical bravado. Even the rocks are dynamic, recalling Abu'l Fazl's claim that "even inanimate objects look as if they had life." An important category of Akbar's paintings are illustrations to de luxe voumes of the literary classics, of which an early example is The Ape Out smarts Thieues (Plate 4) of 1570. Later examples are Plates 8, 9, and 11 Such pictures were invariably assigned to the most admired artists, working unassisted. But while these miniatures can be ranked as the atelier's "master- pieces," they are not necessarily the most exciting. Outstanding artists also worked on less refined projects, such as the copiously illustrated historical manuscripts that described not only Mughal history but also its precursors in the Islamic world. Perhaps the earliest surviving manuscript of this sort is a dispersed Baburnama (the Persian translation of Babur's autobiography) of about 1589, the year when the Khan Khanan, one of Akbar's most literary nobles, completed, the translation. Babur Receiving Uzbek and Rajput Envoys in a Gardeh at Agra (Figure II) contains one of the most believable portraits of the founding emperor in his favorite garden sur- roundings, receiving envoys at Agra in 1528 from the Safavis, Uzbeks, and Rajputs. As usual under such circumstances at the Mughal court, robes of honor, gold and silver, and richly worked swords and daggers were presented to the guests. To Read More Visit This Book Link Mughal Library

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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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