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By: Zaheda Khanam
164 pages, Col & b/w illus
The depiction of flora and fauna has been an intrinsic part of Indian painting traditions. The Mughals in their turn, in their fascinating paintings, used the bird and animal imagery to lend a special quality to their art of painting. This book, with over 70 illustrations, is a survey of the birds and animals used in Mughal paintings, especially during the reigns of Emperors Akbar and Jahangir. With historical details, it shows that the depiction of various kinds of birds and animals played a significant role in conformity with the context or the demands of the narratives. The artists painted both wild and domestic animals with equal competence.
Outlining the differences in the paintings under the Mughal rulers themselves with regard to depiction of fauna, it notes that while Akbar was interested in historical, mythological or anecdotal events, Jahangir introduced album paintings and evinced interest in individual portrait studies of fauna. In all, it showcases the meticulous depiction of fauna in Mughal art and its persevering beauty. It mentions the names of a host of artists who executed the paintings and the many illustrated manuscripts - mythological, historical and on popular fables - that saw lavish use of paintings with faunal imagery.
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