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Earliest Mughal painting

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dc.contributor.authorBarrett, Douglas E. & Basil Gray
dc.contributor.authorBritish Museum
dc.contributor.authorPhotographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
dc.identifierANUA 682-2718
dc.descriptionThe earliest surviving painting of the Mughal school is a large picture on cotton of the ancestors in the male line of the Mughal house enjoying an imaginary picnic in the mountains seated in order of their succession. Originally Timur himself must have occupied the centre of the scene, seated in a pavilion with Humayun facing him on a slightly lower level. This painting, in a sadly damaged state, reached the British Museum in 1913 and it is agreed that it is almost certainly the work of Mir Sayyid Ali himself, some figures in it being directly derived from the work of his father (Mir Musavvir) and the whole style being in the early Safavi tradition. But the scale is unprecedented for Persia (it measures about forty-five inches each way), and perhaps echoes a Mongol nomadic custom of hanging paintings in the tent. The gold-painted sky and other colouring are Persian, and so is the illuminated frame of floral arabesques which surrounds it. But there is some slight evidence to support the suggestion that there was a vogue for paintings on stuff in India at this time
dc.subjectIndo-Persian Miniatures, 16th-17th century
dc.titleEarliest Mughal painting
local.description.notesSource: Douglas E. Barrett & Basil Gray, Painting of India, Geneva, Skira, 1963, pp. 77-8
dc.provenanceDigitised by the Australian National University in 2019
dc.rights.licenseThis item is provided for research purposes. Contact the Australian National University Archives at for permission to use.
CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham


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