Art of the Mogul Era

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Alternate Titles:

Kassette Kunst der Moghulzeit

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Alternate Titles

Kassette Kunst der Moghulzeit

Extent / Format

10 leaves / 38.5 x 26.0 cm

16th-18th cemtury

Ten leaves from important manuscripts


10 miniatures

Short description

Founded in 1526, the Mogul 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. Art from the Orient was a source of great fascination in Early Modern Europe. When Rembrandt's art collection was auctioned off in Amsterdam in 1656, the first album with Indian miniatures found in Europe was among them. The ten folios assembled here represent are from this historic and exotic collection.

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