Old NCERT Textbook (Satish Chandra): Cultural and Religious Developments Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

UPSC: Old NCERT Textbook (Satish Chandra): Cultural and Religious Developments Notes | Study History for UPSC CSE - UPSC

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 Page 1


SEVENTEEN
Cultural and Religious Developments
There was an outburst of many-sided cultural activity in India under the
Mughal rule. The traditions in the field of architecture, painting, literature
and music created during this period set a norm and deeply influenced the
succeeding generations. In this sense, the Mughal period can be called a
second classical age following the Gupta age in northern India. In this cultural
development, Indian traditions were amalgamated with the Turko-Iranian
culture brought to the country by the Mughals. The Timurid court at
Samarqand had developed as the cultural centre of West and Central Asia.
Babur was conscious of this cultural heritage. He was critical of many of the
cultural forms existing in India and was determined to set proper standards.
The development of art and culture in various regions of India during the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had led to a rich and varied development
from which it was possible to draw upon. But for this, the cultural
efflorescence of the Mughal age would hardly have been possible. Peoples
from different areas of India, as well as peoples belonging to different faiths
and races contributed to this cultural development in various ways. In this
sense, the culture developed during the period was tending towards a
composite national culture.
ARCHITECTURE
The Mughals built magnificent forts, palaces, gates, public buildings,
mosques, baolis (water tank or well), etc. They also laid out many formal
gardens with running water. In fact use of running water even in their palaces
and pleasure resorts was a special feature of the Mughals. Babur was very
fond of gardens and laid out a few in the neighbourhood of Agra and Lahore.
Some of the Mughal gardens, such as the Nishat Bagh in Kashmir, the
Shalimar at Lahore, the Pinjore garden in the Punjab foothills, etc., have
Page 2


SEVENTEEN
Cultural and Religious Developments
There was an outburst of many-sided cultural activity in India under the
Mughal rule. The traditions in the field of architecture, painting, literature
and music created during this period set a norm and deeply influenced the
succeeding generations. In this sense, the Mughal period can be called a
second classical age following the Gupta age in northern India. In this cultural
development, Indian traditions were amalgamated with the Turko-Iranian
culture brought to the country by the Mughals. The Timurid court at
Samarqand had developed as the cultural centre of West and Central Asia.
Babur was conscious of this cultural heritage. He was critical of many of the
cultural forms existing in India and was determined to set proper standards.
The development of art and culture in various regions of India during the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had led to a rich and varied development
from which it was possible to draw upon. But for this, the cultural
efflorescence of the Mughal age would hardly have been possible. Peoples
from different areas of India, as well as peoples belonging to different faiths
and races contributed to this cultural development in various ways. In this
sense, the culture developed during the period was tending towards a
composite national culture.
ARCHITECTURE
The Mughals built magnificent forts, palaces, gates, public buildings,
mosques, baolis (water tank or well), etc. They also laid out many formal
gardens with running water. In fact use of running water even in their palaces
and pleasure resorts was a special feature of the Mughals. Babur was very
fond of gardens and laid out a few in the neighbourhood of Agra and Lahore.
Some of the Mughal gardens, such as the Nishat Bagh in Kashmir, the
Shalimar at Lahore, the Pinjore garden in the Punjab foothills, etc., have
survived to this day. A new impetus to architecture was given by Sher Shah.
His famous mausoleum at Sasaram (Bihar) and his mosque in the old fort at
Delhi are considered architectural marvels. They form the climax of the pre-
Mughal style of architecture, and the starting point for the new.
Akbar was the first Mughal ruler who had the time and means to undertake
construction on a large scale. He built a series of forts, the most famous of
which is the fort at Agra. Built in red sandstone, this massive fort had many
magnificent gates. For their forts, the Mughals drew on the developed Indian
tradition of fort-building, such as the ones at Gwaliyar, Jodhpur, etc. The
climax of fort-building was reached at Delhi where Shah Jahan built his
famous Red Fort.
In 1572, Akbar commenced a palace-cum-fort complex at Fatehpur Sikri,
36 kilometres from Agra, which he completed in eight years. Built atop a hill,
along with a large artificial lake, it included many buildings in the style of
Gujarat and Bengal. These included deep eaves, balconies, and fanciful kiosks.
In the Panch Mahal built for taking the air, all the types of pillars used in
various temples were employed to support flat roofs. The Gujarat style of
architecture is used most widely in the palace built probably for his Rajput
wife or wives. Buildings of a similar type were also built in the fort at Agra,
though only a few of them have survived. Akbar took a close personal interest
in the work of construction both at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Persian or
Central Asian influence can be seen in the glazed blue tiles used for
decoration in the walls or for tiling the roofs. But the most magnificent
building was the mosque and the gateway to it called the Buland Darwaza
(the lofty gate) built to commemorate Akbar’s victory in Gujarat. The gate is
in the style of what is called a half-dome portal. What was done was to slice a
dome into half. The sliced portion provided the massive outward facade of
the gate, while smaller doors could be made in the rear wall where the dome
and the floor meet. This devise, borrowed from Iran, became a feature in
Mughal buildings later.
With the consolidation of the empire, the Mughal architecture reached its
climax. Towards the end of Jahangir’s reign began the practice of putting up
buildings entirely of marble and decorating the walls with floral designs made
of semi-precious stones. This method of decoration, called pietra dura,
Page 3


SEVENTEEN
Cultural and Religious Developments
There was an outburst of many-sided cultural activity in India under the
Mughal rule. The traditions in the field of architecture, painting, literature
and music created during this period set a norm and deeply influenced the
succeeding generations. In this sense, the Mughal period can be called a
second classical age following the Gupta age in northern India. In this cultural
development, Indian traditions were amalgamated with the Turko-Iranian
culture brought to the country by the Mughals. The Timurid court at
Samarqand had developed as the cultural centre of West and Central Asia.
Babur was conscious of this cultural heritage. He was critical of many of the
cultural forms existing in India and was determined to set proper standards.
The development of art and culture in various regions of India during the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had led to a rich and varied development
from which it was possible to draw upon. But for this, the cultural
efflorescence of the Mughal age would hardly have been possible. Peoples
from different areas of India, as well as peoples belonging to different faiths
and races contributed to this cultural development in various ways. In this
sense, the culture developed during the period was tending towards a
composite national culture.
ARCHITECTURE
The Mughals built magnificent forts, palaces, gates, public buildings,
mosques, baolis (water tank or well), etc. They also laid out many formal
gardens with running water. In fact use of running water even in their palaces
and pleasure resorts was a special feature of the Mughals. Babur was very
fond of gardens and laid out a few in the neighbourhood of Agra and Lahore.
Some of the Mughal gardens, such as the Nishat Bagh in Kashmir, the
Shalimar at Lahore, the Pinjore garden in the Punjab foothills, etc., have
survived to this day. A new impetus to architecture was given by Sher Shah.
His famous mausoleum at Sasaram (Bihar) and his mosque in the old fort at
Delhi are considered architectural marvels. They form the climax of the pre-
Mughal style of architecture, and the starting point for the new.
Akbar was the first Mughal ruler who had the time and means to undertake
construction on a large scale. He built a series of forts, the most famous of
which is the fort at Agra. Built in red sandstone, this massive fort had many
magnificent gates. For their forts, the Mughals drew on the developed Indian
tradition of fort-building, such as the ones at Gwaliyar, Jodhpur, etc. The
climax of fort-building was reached at Delhi where Shah Jahan built his
famous Red Fort.
In 1572, Akbar commenced a palace-cum-fort complex at Fatehpur Sikri,
36 kilometres from Agra, which he completed in eight years. Built atop a hill,
along with a large artificial lake, it included many buildings in the style of
Gujarat and Bengal. These included deep eaves, balconies, and fanciful kiosks.
In the Panch Mahal built for taking the air, all the types of pillars used in
various temples were employed to support flat roofs. The Gujarat style of
architecture is used most widely in the palace built probably for his Rajput
wife or wives. Buildings of a similar type were also built in the fort at Agra,
though only a few of them have survived. Akbar took a close personal interest
in the work of construction both at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Persian or
Central Asian influence can be seen in the glazed blue tiles used for
decoration in the walls or for tiling the roofs. But the most magnificent
building was the mosque and the gateway to it called the Buland Darwaza
(the lofty gate) built to commemorate Akbar’s victory in Gujarat. The gate is
in the style of what is called a half-dome portal. What was done was to slice a
dome into half. The sliced portion provided the massive outward facade of
the gate, while smaller doors could be made in the rear wall where the dome
and the floor meet. This devise, borrowed from Iran, became a feature in
Mughal buildings later.
With the consolidation of the empire, the Mughal architecture reached its
climax. Towards the end of Jahangir’s reign began the practice of putting up
buildings entirely of marble and decorating the walls with floral designs made
of semi-precious stones. This method of decoration, called pietra dura,
became even more popular under Shah Jahan who used it on a large scale in
the Taj Mahal, justly regarded as a jewel of the builder’s art. The Taj Mahal
brought together in a pleasing manner all the architectural forms developed
by the Mughals. Humayun’s tomb built at Delhi towards the beginning of
Akbar’s reign, and which had a massive dome of marble, may be considered a
precursor of the Taj. The double dome was another feature of this building.
This devise enabled a bigger dome to be built with a smaller one inside. The
chief glory of the Taj is the massive dome and the four slender minarets
linking the platform to the main building. The decorations are kept to a
minimum, delicate marble screens, pietra dura inlay work and kiosks
(chhatris) adding to the effect. The building gains by being placed in the
midst of a formal garden.
Mosque-building also reached its climax under Shah Jahan, the two most
noteworthy ones being the Moti Masjid in the Agra fort, built like the Taj
entirely in marble, and the other the Jama Masjid at Delhi built in red
sandstone. A lofty gate, tall, slender minarets, and a series of domes are a
feature of the Jama Masjid at Delhi.
Although not many buildings were put up by Aurangzeb who was
economy-minded, the Mughal architectural traditions based on a
combination of Hindu and Turko-Iranian forms and decorative designs,
continued without a break into the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Thus, Mughal traditions influenced the palaces and forts of many provincial
and local kingdoms. Even the Harmandir of the Sikhs, called the Golden
Temple at Amritsar which was rebuilt several times during the period was
built on the arch and dome principle and incorporated many features of the
Mughal traditions of architecture.
PAINTING
The Mughals made distinctive contribution in the field of painting. They
introduced new themes depicting the court, battle scenes and the chase, and
added new colours and new forms. They created a living tradition of painting
which continued to work in different parts of the country long after the glory
of the Mughals had disappeared. The richness of the style, again, was due to
Page 4


SEVENTEEN
Cultural and Religious Developments
There was an outburst of many-sided cultural activity in India under the
Mughal rule. The traditions in the field of architecture, painting, literature
and music created during this period set a norm and deeply influenced the
succeeding generations. In this sense, the Mughal period can be called a
second classical age following the Gupta age in northern India. In this cultural
development, Indian traditions were amalgamated with the Turko-Iranian
culture brought to the country by the Mughals. The Timurid court at
Samarqand had developed as the cultural centre of West and Central Asia.
Babur was conscious of this cultural heritage. He was critical of many of the
cultural forms existing in India and was determined to set proper standards.
The development of art and culture in various regions of India during the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had led to a rich and varied development
from which it was possible to draw upon. But for this, the cultural
efflorescence of the Mughal age would hardly have been possible. Peoples
from different areas of India, as well as peoples belonging to different faiths
and races contributed to this cultural development in various ways. In this
sense, the culture developed during the period was tending towards a
composite national culture.
ARCHITECTURE
The Mughals built magnificent forts, palaces, gates, public buildings,
mosques, baolis (water tank or well), etc. They also laid out many formal
gardens with running water. In fact use of running water even in their palaces
and pleasure resorts was a special feature of the Mughals. Babur was very
fond of gardens and laid out a few in the neighbourhood of Agra and Lahore.
Some of the Mughal gardens, such as the Nishat Bagh in Kashmir, the
Shalimar at Lahore, the Pinjore garden in the Punjab foothills, etc., have
survived to this day. A new impetus to architecture was given by Sher Shah.
His famous mausoleum at Sasaram (Bihar) and his mosque in the old fort at
Delhi are considered architectural marvels. They form the climax of the pre-
Mughal style of architecture, and the starting point for the new.
Akbar was the first Mughal ruler who had the time and means to undertake
construction on a large scale. He built a series of forts, the most famous of
which is the fort at Agra. Built in red sandstone, this massive fort had many
magnificent gates. For their forts, the Mughals drew on the developed Indian
tradition of fort-building, such as the ones at Gwaliyar, Jodhpur, etc. The
climax of fort-building was reached at Delhi where Shah Jahan built his
famous Red Fort.
In 1572, Akbar commenced a palace-cum-fort complex at Fatehpur Sikri,
36 kilometres from Agra, which he completed in eight years. Built atop a hill,
along with a large artificial lake, it included many buildings in the style of
Gujarat and Bengal. These included deep eaves, balconies, and fanciful kiosks.
In the Panch Mahal built for taking the air, all the types of pillars used in
various temples were employed to support flat roofs. The Gujarat style of
architecture is used most widely in the palace built probably for his Rajput
wife or wives. Buildings of a similar type were also built in the fort at Agra,
though only a few of them have survived. Akbar took a close personal interest
in the work of construction both at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Persian or
Central Asian influence can be seen in the glazed blue tiles used for
decoration in the walls or for tiling the roofs. But the most magnificent
building was the mosque and the gateway to it called the Buland Darwaza
(the lofty gate) built to commemorate Akbar’s victory in Gujarat. The gate is
in the style of what is called a half-dome portal. What was done was to slice a
dome into half. The sliced portion provided the massive outward facade of
the gate, while smaller doors could be made in the rear wall where the dome
and the floor meet. This devise, borrowed from Iran, became a feature in
Mughal buildings later.
With the consolidation of the empire, the Mughal architecture reached its
climax. Towards the end of Jahangir’s reign began the practice of putting up
buildings entirely of marble and decorating the walls with floral designs made
of semi-precious stones. This method of decoration, called pietra dura,
became even more popular under Shah Jahan who used it on a large scale in
the Taj Mahal, justly regarded as a jewel of the builder’s art. The Taj Mahal
brought together in a pleasing manner all the architectural forms developed
by the Mughals. Humayun’s tomb built at Delhi towards the beginning of
Akbar’s reign, and which had a massive dome of marble, may be considered a
precursor of the Taj. The double dome was another feature of this building.
This devise enabled a bigger dome to be built with a smaller one inside. The
chief glory of the Taj is the massive dome and the four slender minarets
linking the platform to the main building. The decorations are kept to a
minimum, delicate marble screens, pietra dura inlay work and kiosks
(chhatris) adding to the effect. The building gains by being placed in the
midst of a formal garden.
Mosque-building also reached its climax under Shah Jahan, the two most
noteworthy ones being the Moti Masjid in the Agra fort, built like the Taj
entirely in marble, and the other the Jama Masjid at Delhi built in red
sandstone. A lofty gate, tall, slender minarets, and a series of domes are a
feature of the Jama Masjid at Delhi.
Although not many buildings were put up by Aurangzeb who was
economy-minded, the Mughal architectural traditions based on a
combination of Hindu and Turko-Iranian forms and decorative designs,
continued without a break into the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Thus, Mughal traditions influenced the palaces and forts of many provincial
and local kingdoms. Even the Harmandir of the Sikhs, called the Golden
Temple at Amritsar which was rebuilt several times during the period was
built on the arch and dome principle and incorporated many features of the
Mughal traditions of architecture.
PAINTING
The Mughals made distinctive contribution in the field of painting. They
introduced new themes depicting the court, battle scenes and the chase, and
added new colours and new forms. They created a living tradition of painting
which continued to work in different parts of the country long after the glory
of the Mughals had disappeared. The richness of the style, again, was due to
the fact that India had an old tradition of painting. The wall-paintings of
Ajanta are an eloquent indication of its vigour. After the eighth century, the
tradition seems to have decayed, but palm-leaf manuscripts and illustrated
Jain texts from the thirteenth century onwards show that the tradition had
not died.
Apart from the Jains, some of the provincial kingdoms, such as Malwa and
Gujarat extended their patronage to painting during the fifteenth century. But
a vigorous revival began only under Akbar. While at the court of the shah of
Iran, Humayun had taken into his service two master painters who
accompanied him to India. Under their leadership, during the reign of Akbar,
a painting workshop was set up in one of the imperial establishments
(karkhanas). A large number of painters, many of them from the lower castes,
were drawn from different parts of the country. From the beginning, both
Hindus and Muslims joined in the work. Thus, Daswant and Basawan were
two of the famous painters of Akbar’s court. The school developed rapidly,
and soon became a celebrated centre of production. Apart from illustrating
Persian books of fables, the painters were soon assigned the task of illustrating
the Persian text of the Mahabharata, the historical work Akbar Nama, and
others. Indian themes and Indian scenes and landscapes, thus, came in vogue
and helped to free the school from Persian influence. Indian colours, such as
peacock blue, the Indian red, etc., began to be used. Above all, the somewhat
flat effect of the Persian style began to be replaced by the roundedness of the
Indian brush, giving the pictures a three-dimensional effect.
Mughal painting reached a climax under Jahangir who had a very
discriminating eye. It was a fashion in the Mughal school for the faces, bodies
and feet of the people in a single picture to be painted by different artists.
Jahangir claims that he could distinguish the work of each artist in a picture.
Apart from painting hunting, battle and court scenes, under Jahangir
special progress was made in portrait painting and paintings of animals.
Mansur was the great name in this field. Portrait painting also became
fashionable.
Under Akbar, European painting was introduced at the court by the
Portuguese priests. Under their influence, the principles of foreshortening,
Page 5


SEVENTEEN
Cultural and Religious Developments
There was an outburst of many-sided cultural activity in India under the
Mughal rule. The traditions in the field of architecture, painting, literature
and music created during this period set a norm and deeply influenced the
succeeding generations. In this sense, the Mughal period can be called a
second classical age following the Gupta age in northern India. In this cultural
development, Indian traditions were amalgamated with the Turko-Iranian
culture brought to the country by the Mughals. The Timurid court at
Samarqand had developed as the cultural centre of West and Central Asia.
Babur was conscious of this cultural heritage. He was critical of many of the
cultural forms existing in India and was determined to set proper standards.
The development of art and culture in various regions of India during the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had led to a rich and varied development
from which it was possible to draw upon. But for this, the cultural
efflorescence of the Mughal age would hardly have been possible. Peoples
from different areas of India, as well as peoples belonging to different faiths
and races contributed to this cultural development in various ways. In this
sense, the culture developed during the period was tending towards a
composite national culture.
ARCHITECTURE
The Mughals built magnificent forts, palaces, gates, public buildings,
mosques, baolis (water tank or well), etc. They also laid out many formal
gardens with running water. In fact use of running water even in their palaces
and pleasure resorts was a special feature of the Mughals. Babur was very
fond of gardens and laid out a few in the neighbourhood of Agra and Lahore.
Some of the Mughal gardens, such as the Nishat Bagh in Kashmir, the
Shalimar at Lahore, the Pinjore garden in the Punjab foothills, etc., have
survived to this day. A new impetus to architecture was given by Sher Shah.
His famous mausoleum at Sasaram (Bihar) and his mosque in the old fort at
Delhi are considered architectural marvels. They form the climax of the pre-
Mughal style of architecture, and the starting point for the new.
Akbar was the first Mughal ruler who had the time and means to undertake
construction on a large scale. He built a series of forts, the most famous of
which is the fort at Agra. Built in red sandstone, this massive fort had many
magnificent gates. For their forts, the Mughals drew on the developed Indian
tradition of fort-building, such as the ones at Gwaliyar, Jodhpur, etc. The
climax of fort-building was reached at Delhi where Shah Jahan built his
famous Red Fort.
In 1572, Akbar commenced a palace-cum-fort complex at Fatehpur Sikri,
36 kilometres from Agra, which he completed in eight years. Built atop a hill,
along with a large artificial lake, it included many buildings in the style of
Gujarat and Bengal. These included deep eaves, balconies, and fanciful kiosks.
In the Panch Mahal built for taking the air, all the types of pillars used in
various temples were employed to support flat roofs. The Gujarat style of
architecture is used most widely in the palace built probably for his Rajput
wife or wives. Buildings of a similar type were also built in the fort at Agra,
though only a few of them have survived. Akbar took a close personal interest
in the work of construction both at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Persian or
Central Asian influence can be seen in the glazed blue tiles used for
decoration in the walls or for tiling the roofs. But the most magnificent
building was the mosque and the gateway to it called the Buland Darwaza
(the lofty gate) built to commemorate Akbar’s victory in Gujarat. The gate is
in the style of what is called a half-dome portal. What was done was to slice a
dome into half. The sliced portion provided the massive outward facade of
the gate, while smaller doors could be made in the rear wall where the dome
and the floor meet. This devise, borrowed from Iran, became a feature in
Mughal buildings later.
With the consolidation of the empire, the Mughal architecture reached its
climax. Towards the end of Jahangir’s reign began the practice of putting up
buildings entirely of marble and decorating the walls with floral designs made
of semi-precious stones. This method of decoration, called pietra dura,
became even more popular under Shah Jahan who used it on a large scale in
the Taj Mahal, justly regarded as a jewel of the builder’s art. The Taj Mahal
brought together in a pleasing manner all the architectural forms developed
by the Mughals. Humayun’s tomb built at Delhi towards the beginning of
Akbar’s reign, and which had a massive dome of marble, may be considered a
precursor of the Taj. The double dome was another feature of this building.
This devise enabled a bigger dome to be built with a smaller one inside. The
chief glory of the Taj is the massive dome and the four slender minarets
linking the platform to the main building. The decorations are kept to a
minimum, delicate marble screens, pietra dura inlay work and kiosks
(chhatris) adding to the effect. The building gains by being placed in the
midst of a formal garden.
Mosque-building also reached its climax under Shah Jahan, the two most
noteworthy ones being the Moti Masjid in the Agra fort, built like the Taj
entirely in marble, and the other the Jama Masjid at Delhi built in red
sandstone. A lofty gate, tall, slender minarets, and a series of domes are a
feature of the Jama Masjid at Delhi.
Although not many buildings were put up by Aurangzeb who was
economy-minded, the Mughal architectural traditions based on a
combination of Hindu and Turko-Iranian forms and decorative designs,
continued without a break into the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Thus, Mughal traditions influenced the palaces and forts of many provincial
and local kingdoms. Even the Harmandir of the Sikhs, called the Golden
Temple at Amritsar which was rebuilt several times during the period was
built on the arch and dome principle and incorporated many features of the
Mughal traditions of architecture.
PAINTING
The Mughals made distinctive contribution in the field of painting. They
introduced new themes depicting the court, battle scenes and the chase, and
added new colours and new forms. They created a living tradition of painting
which continued to work in different parts of the country long after the glory
of the Mughals had disappeared. The richness of the style, again, was due to
the fact that India had an old tradition of painting. The wall-paintings of
Ajanta are an eloquent indication of its vigour. After the eighth century, the
tradition seems to have decayed, but palm-leaf manuscripts and illustrated
Jain texts from the thirteenth century onwards show that the tradition had
not died.
Apart from the Jains, some of the provincial kingdoms, such as Malwa and
Gujarat extended their patronage to painting during the fifteenth century. But
a vigorous revival began only under Akbar. While at the court of the shah of
Iran, Humayun had taken into his service two master painters who
accompanied him to India. Under their leadership, during the reign of Akbar,
a painting workshop was set up in one of the imperial establishments
(karkhanas). A large number of painters, many of them from the lower castes,
were drawn from different parts of the country. From the beginning, both
Hindus and Muslims joined in the work. Thus, Daswant and Basawan were
two of the famous painters of Akbar’s court. The school developed rapidly,
and soon became a celebrated centre of production. Apart from illustrating
Persian books of fables, the painters were soon assigned the task of illustrating
the Persian text of the Mahabharata, the historical work Akbar Nama, and
others. Indian themes and Indian scenes and landscapes, thus, came in vogue
and helped to free the school from Persian influence. Indian colours, such as
peacock blue, the Indian red, etc., began to be used. Above all, the somewhat
flat effect of the Persian style began to be replaced by the roundedness of the
Indian brush, giving the pictures a three-dimensional effect.
Mughal painting reached a climax under Jahangir who had a very
discriminating eye. It was a fashion in the Mughal school for the faces, bodies
and feet of the people in a single picture to be painted by different artists.
Jahangir claims that he could distinguish the work of each artist in a picture.
Apart from painting hunting, battle and court scenes, under Jahangir
special progress was made in portrait painting and paintings of animals.
Mansur was the great name in this field. Portrait painting also became
fashionable.
Under Akbar, European painting was introduced at the court by the
Portuguese priests. Under their influence, the principles of foreshortening,
whereby near and distant people and things could be placed in perspective
was quietly adopted.
While the tradition continued under Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb’s lack of
interest in painting led to a dispersal of the artists to different places of the
country. This helped in the development of painting in the states of Rajasthan
and the Punjab hills. The Mughal tradition of painting was, however, revived
during the eighteenth century under the patronage of the successors of
Aurangzeb.
The Rajasthan style of painting combined the themes and earlier traditions
of western India or Jain school of painting with Mughal forms and styles.
Thus, in addition to hunting and court scenes, it had paintings on
mythological themes, such as the dalliance of Krishna with Radha, the barah-
masa (seasons) or the ragor (melodies). The Pahari school continued these
traditions.
LANGUAGE, LITERATURE AND MUSIC
The important role of Persian and Sanskrit as vehicles of thought and
government at the all-India level, and the development of regional languages,
largely as a result of the growth of the Bhakti Movement, have already been
mentioned. Regional languages also developed due / to the patronage
extended to them by local and regional rulers.
These trends continued during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By
the time of Akbar, knowledge of Persian had become so widespread in north
India that he dispensed with the tradition of keeping revenue records in the
local language (Hindawi) in addition to Persian. However, the tradition of
keeping revenue records in the local language continued in the Deccani states
till their extinction in the last quarter of the seventeenth century.
Persian prose and poetry reached a climax under Akbar’s reign. Abul Fazl
who was a great scholar and a stylist, as well as the leading historian of the
age, set a style of prose-writing which was emulated for many generations.
The leading poet of the age was his brother, Faizi, who also helped in Akbar’s
translation department. The translation of the Mahabharata was carried out
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