to paint under the direction of the two Persian artists. Since Akbar was very
fond of tales, one can see the paintings mainly being based on the
Mahabharata, Ramayana and Persian epics. Mughal paintings also started
illustrating an enhanced naturalism, with animal tales, landscape, portraits,
etc.
Contribution by Jahangir After Akbar, emperor Jahangir extended his
great support to various art forms, especially paintings. His period saw more
and more refinement in brushwork, along with the use of much lighter and
subdued colours. The main themes of the Mughal paintings revolved around
the events from Jahangir"s own life, along with portraits, birds, flowers,
animals, etc. One of the most popular examples of Mughal paintings of this
time includes the pictorial illustrations of the Jehangir-nama, the biography
of Emperor Jahangir.
Decline under Aurangzeb The declining trend which started during Shah
Jahan even continued during Aurangzeb. The emperors did not pay much
attention on the growth of the Mughal paintings. Still, the art form continued
to survive with the support received from its other patrons. However,
gradually, because of diminishing support, large scale negligence, and an
indifferent attitude, a declining trend set in. The period of Muhammad Shah
Rangeela (1719–1748) did experience a brief revival of the Mughal paintings.
Nonetheless, with the arrival of Shah Alam II, the art almost became extinct
and another school of painting, known as Rajput paintings, appeared in the
horizon only to take over soon.
Rajput Paintings
This style of paintings originated in the royal states of Rajasthan, somewhere
around the late 16th and early 17th century. The Mughals ruled almost all the
princely states of Rajasthan at that time. Thus, it is no surprise to anybody
that because of this most of the schools of Rajput Painting in India reflect
strong Mughal influence. However, it is interesting to note that each of the
Rajput kingdoms evolved a distinctive style. Despite this, similarities and
common features can still be found in the paintings of different territories.
Features One can also observe the dominance of Chaura-panchasika group