Jahangir: A Connoisseur of Mughal Art
By Sanjeev Srivastava
Jahangir: A Connoisseur of Mughal Art is author’s third great work showing the character and personality of Prince Salim who ruled India after the death of Akbar. It tends to portray the aesthetic taste of Emperor Jahangir as an unrivalled connoisseur of Mughal art besides being a shrewd administrator of Mughal empire. The present study based on authentic primary sources attempts to present the artistic heritage of his ancestors followed by his own innovations known as Muraqqas in miniature painting which stand out as rare specimens of Mughal painting in the entire range of art history.
Jahangir, who has been depicted as a great campaigner of wars, was also an avowed lover of natural phenomena as also famous naturalist lover of Mughal art. What excelled all other styles of his reign was aspect of sophistication and refinement which characterize the miniatures, muraqqas produced in Jahangir’s atelier. It was based on detailed analytical study of the pictures which helped him to assess the trends and tendencies patronised by him.
Jahangir devoted enough time to the study and enjoyment of painting during his stay at Lahore which became a hub of artistic activity. It was here that most significant manuscripts were illustrated. Many noted artists worked at Lahore kingdom. Lahore became the second capital of the Mughal empire from where radiated art, culture, language and literature throughout India.
He was a man of wide literary taste, having intense love for poetry, music, history, geography, architecture, painting and fine arts. A typical Mughal culture would have been impossible without this intellectual and artistic contribution.