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Two Wild Buffalos from Baburnama

June 30, 1556
Animals and Plants
Akbar 1556–1605




Painting Artist: Mansur Designer: Kanha Mughal dynasty, Reign of Akbar, ca. 1589 Mughal School Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper The first Mughal emperor, Babur (reigned 1526�30), wrote memoirs that included precise descriptions of the animals and flowers that he encountered after his arrival in India in 1526. He observed that the blue bull, a kind of antelope, may stand as high as a horse, but it is somewhat lighter in build. The male is bluish-gray, and therefore known as nila-gau [blue bull]. This illumination was placed alongside that text in a copy of the Baburnama made for the private use of Babur's grandson, the emperor Akbar (reigned 1556�1605). Babur's interest in minute details of the natural world was continued by many of his successors and is reflected in both the subjects and styles of the works that they commissioned. Like many Mughal paintings this was a collaborative effort. Kanha created the composition; Mansur painted it. Text and image credit: Copyright � 2017 Smithsonian Institution

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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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