Masterpieces of the Moghul Era

Masterpieces of the Moghul Era

India — 16th–18th cemtury

From the realm of India's legendary rulers: a fascinating insight into the rich and varied artistic tradition of the exotic Mughals

  1. Founded in 1526, the Mughal Empire was an Islamic superpower that ruled over most of the Indian subcontinent

  2. The Mughals were descended from Genghis Khan and Timur, but became increasingly Indian and Persian due to dynastic marriages

  3. Created between the 16th and 18th centuries, these ten folios survey this rich, diverse artistic tradition

Masterpieces of the Moghul Era

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Masterpieces of the Moghul Era

The Mughal (or Mogul) Empire ruled over most of South Asia for more than three centuries and aside from being the richest state of the period, it developed its own unique artistic style. Mughal painting blended indigenous Indian art with Islamic, Persian, and even Chinese influences to create a particularly refined and elaborate aesthetic. Mughal miniatures had a distinct influence on successive artistic styles, particularly in northern India.

Masterpieces of the Mughal Era

Founded in 1526, the Mughal Empire was an Islamic superpower that ruled over most of the Indian subcontinent and parts of Afghanistan for 325 years. The ruling class could trace their roots to both Genghis Khan (ca. 1162–1227) and Timur (1336–1405) also known as Tamerlane, but became increasingly Indian and Persian due to dynastic marriages. At its height, Emperor Aurangzeb (1618–1707) ruled over one quarter of the world’s population as well as the largest economy in the world with a GDP ten times that of France under Louis XIV (1638–1715). This tremendous wealth, when paired with the massive polyglot population, produced a rich cultural and artistic heritage. It evolved from Persian miniature painting, which was itself heavily influenced by Chinese art, in addition to influences from the Hindu, Jain, Turkic, and Buddhist artistic traditions. It is distinguished from its Persianate predecessors by adopting a more realistic style for plants, animals, and portraits. Other elements of the Persian artistic tradition, especially richly-decorated borders, were continued and refined.
The ten folios assembled here represent a splendid sample of this rich, diverse artistic tradition created between the 16th and 18th centuries:

  1. Emperor Akbar Tames an Elephant, 1609/10

  2. Imperial Hunting Falcon, 1st quarter of the 17th century

  3. Mughal Ladies on the Lakeside Terrace, 3rd quarter of the 18th century

  4. Loving Couple on the Harem Terrace, 2nd half of the 17th century

  5. Mughal Lady in the Harem, 2nd half of the 17th century

  6. Loving Couple at the Window, 1st half of the 18th century

  7. Princess at the Fireworks, 2nd half of the 17th century

  8. The Lady Minstrel, ca. 1580

  9. The Resting Prince, ca. 1800

  10. Emperor Akbar Gardening, End of the 16th century

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Kassette Meisterwerke der Moghulzeit
Meisterwerke der Mogulzeit
Size / Format
10 leaves / 38.5 × 26.0 cm
Origin
India
Date
16th–18th cemtury
Language
Illustrations
10 miniatures
Content
Ten leaves from important manuscripts

Available facsimile editions:
Masterpieces of the Mogul Era – Several Owners
Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 1993
Limited Edition: 1995 copies
Detail Picture

Masterpieces of the Moghul Era

A Princess at the Fireworks

This festive miniature shows a princess seated in a golden chair with a Roman candle in hand and surrounded by attendants and other ladies of the court. The artist makes generous use of gold leaf to show fireworks being lit in the palace, on ships in the river, and on the opposite bank as well as rockets exploding in the distance during the celebration of Shab-e-Barat. The seated woman is Princess Zib an-Nisa (1639–1689), an interesting and well-educated personality of the Moghul court who was already a famous poet in her own lifetime.

Kassette Meisterwerke der Moghulzeit
Single Page

Masterpieces of the Moghul Era

Lovers at the Window

Looking deeply into each other eyes, two royal lovers are pictured in an intimate embrace that is emphasized by the artist who depicts them in a “closeup” as though they were about to share a kiss in a modern movie. Covered in pearls, rubies, and other gems, both figures stand before a burnished gold background symbolizing the intoxicating feeling in which young lovers can often lose all their senses.

European influences can be discerned both in the construction of the scene itself as well the gorgeous purple frame with intricate floral patterns executed in gold leaf that surrounds it. Rather than depicting a specific pair, this is an idealized portrait of a prince with his lover, which is consistent with the traditions of Indian art.

Kassette Meisterwerke der Moghulzeit
Facsimile Editions

#1 Kassette Meisterwerke der Moghulzeit

Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 1993
Masterpieces of the Mogul Era – Several Owners
Masterpieces of the Mogul Era – Several Owners Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 1993
Limited Edition: 1995 copies
Binding: Elaborately designed jewelry box (dimensions: 31.5 x 43 cm), which is decorated with a calligraphy of the Crown Prince Dara Shokuh in the center. The interior of the cassette is lined with royal blue velvet and the exterior is adorned with a fabric interwoven with gold thread.
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: German
1 volume: 10 leaves under passe-partouts: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Please ask for a quote!
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