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Volume 42 Number 4, June 1991

Volume 42 Number 4

New Studies in Mughal Painting

Introduction
Pratapaditya Pal

Basawan
Amina Okada

Miskin
Philippa Vaughan

Mansur
Asok Kumar Das

Manohar
Terence McInerney

The Rachol Frescoes
Teresa Albuquerque

Book Reviews

Introduction
Pal, Pratapaditya
Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991, pp. vi-xvi [Also in Master Artists of the Imperial Mughal Court edited by Pratapaditya Pal; Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991; ISBN: 81-85026-15-7, pp. vii-xvi]
Basawan
Okada, Amina
Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991, pp. 1-16 [Also in Master Artists of the Imperial Mughal Court edited by Pratapaditya Pal; Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991; ISBN: 81-85026-15-7, pp. 1-16]

Basawan was one of the greatest painters in the atelier of Mughal India. He worked for approximately 40 years at the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar. His art, tinged with grace, balance, and a subtle harmony, reveals an innate sense of moderation, a penchant for fluid and masterful lines, and a love for rigorously constructed compositions. Confronted with hitherto unknown examples of Occidental art, introduced at the court in the second half of the 16th century by the Jesuit missionaries, Basawan enriched his style and thematic repertory with stylistic elements which were at the time unusual in the context of the Indian pictorial tradition. Basawan's renown, widespread even during his lifetime, greatly contributed to the fact that the artist illustrated most of the imperial manuscripts, including the Hamza-nama, Tuti-nama, and Razm-nama.

Miskin
Vaughan, Philippa
Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991, pp. 17-38 [Also in Master Artists of the Imperial Mughal Court edited by Pratapaditya Pal; Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991; ISBN: 81-85026-15-7, pp. 17-38]

Miskin was one of the principal painters in the studio of Akbar. He contributed to almost all the imperial manuscripts commissioned during the 1580s and '90s. His active life thus spans the formative period when the distinctive character and features of Mughal painting were being established. Miskin's creative talent came into play not only through the natural stimuli of his own culture but also in response to the challenges of new orientations which were partly technical and partly exotic, such as European and Safavid influences. At times he worked in several different styles concurrently. This article reviews his work chronologically.

Mansur
Das, Asok Kumar
Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991, pp. 39-52 [Also in Master Artists of the Imperial Mughal Court edited by Pratapaditya Pal; Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991; ISBN: 81-85026-15-7, pp. 39-52]

Mansur was an important painter at the court of Mughal emperor Jahangir. A specialist in natural history subjects, he painted a large number of bird and animal pictures of high quality. The emperor conferred a very high honour on him and gave him the title of Nadir-ul-asr (the wonder of the age). In spite of his pre-eminence and a good number of surviving works painted by him, no biographical information about Mansur is known. The account of his life is based almost entirely on his work, either signed by him or authenticated by Jahangir or Shah Jahan, and references in the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri.

Manohar
McInerney, Terence
Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991, pp. 53-68 [Also in Master Artists of the Imperial Mughal Court edited by Pratapaditya Pal; Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991; ISBN: 81-85026-15-7, pp. 53-68]

Although Manohar was a remarkable craftsman, he painted with his heart as well as his mind. His work reveals honest deep-seated sensibilities. The range of his surviving work and a few inscriptions provide some information about him. He was the son of Basawan, the emperor Akbar's pre-eminent artist, and thus entitled to be called khanazadan (born at court), and belonged to an inner circle. Though most famous as a portrait painter, Manohar worked in all genres of Mughal painting. He illustrated manuscripts, imperial and private events, human and animal portraits. He also copied and adapted European engravings. Manohar's career spanned the years 1582 to c.1620. An individual style was only clearly revealed in his work after 1582. Manohar became the portrait painter of choice during the early years of Jahangir's reign, when new conditions required an artist to specialize more and more.

Note: The Rachol Frescoes
Albuquerque, Teresa
Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991, pp. 69-70

Some of the finest vestiges of Christian art in Portuguese India are the frescos that still adorn the walls of the seminary of Rachol in Salsette, Goa. These murals probably date to the first half of the 17th century. The mode of painting reveals the influence of the Italian Renaissance school which then dominated all artistic forms of Europe and was also reflected in the art and architecture of Goa. The note describes the architecture and frescos of the seminary.

Book Reviews
Vol. 42 No. 4, June 1991, pp. 71-72

Picturesque India by W. S. Caine reviewed by Vidya Dehejia; Sherpas-Reflections on Change in Himalayan Nepal by James F. Fisher with a Foreword by Sir Edmund Hilary reviewed by A. K. Banerjee.