1582, the Hamza Namah series consists of fourteen volumes, each containing
hundred pictures, but hardly a tenth survives.
    In 1580 Akbar received in his court the first group of Jesuit priests who
presented him with a copy of the Polyglot Bible illustrated with Flemish
engravings. The emperor ordered his painters to copy them. Soon other
European paintings were brought to his Court and studied with interest. As a
result, Mughal artists began to use perspective, to employ light and shade, to
lower the horizons in the pictures, and to represent the sky more realistically
with cloud arrangements and brilliant sunsets. After 1595 Mughal paintings
reveal the assimilation of Western techniques—modelling of three
dimensional figures by means of shading and a limited adaptation of
perspective.
    Western influence may be seen in the fables, another favourite topic of
Akbar’s atelier. The Tuti Namah (the parrot’s tale) and Ammr-i-Suhaili show
each bird and animal with detailed realism. This portrayal of animals
foreshadows the perfection attained under Jahangir.
    Illustrations of historical manuscripts became the distinctive contribution
of Akbar’s studio. These included Tarikh-i-Alft (history of the world),
Jamiut-Tawarikh m Jami-al-Tawarikh (history of the Mongols by Rashid-ud-
din), Darab Namah, Shah Namah, Timur Namah and Babur Namah. Artists
who contributed to the Jami-al-Tawarikh included Baswan, Lal, Bhim
Gujarati, Dharm Das, Madhu and Surdas Gujarati; but the most typical work
belongs to Miskina, who did scenes of lamentation and dancing with
westernised figures set in Indian landscapes. Together with Nanha, Burah,
Saravana and Kanha (who were familiar with European art), Miskina
contributed to the Darab Namah. Another series of sixty-one illustrations of
the Akhar Namah is perhaps a later version (1605). The artists mentioned
here include Sankar, Daulat, Govardhan, Inayat and Pidarat.
    The spiritual works illustrated during Akbar’s reign include Yoga Vasisht
(Hindu Vedanta Philosophy) and Najhat-ul-Uns (breaths of fellowship), a
prose treatise by Jami on Sufi saints.
    Akbar also encouraged the painting of realistic portraits—a notable
contribution to Indian art. Except for some rare individual faces pictured from
memory at Ajanta, Indian artists had always depicted well-defined types and
ideals. Persian influence set the   art of portraiture on a course of perfection