“William Carpenter Junior (1818-1899) was a water colour artist, born in London to a portrait painter Margaret Sarah Carpenter who had come to India first time in 1850. William Carpenter spent several years in northern part of India between 1850 and 1857 painting scenes of India, its people and its life. In 1853, he came to Kashmir to stay possibly for an year. He produced some of his finest works during his stay.
WILLIAM CARPENTER IN KASHMIR The first of at least three annual trips to Kashmir was probably in 1853, when he may have stayed for many months. Surrounded by a continuous range of snowy peaks, the oval valley of Kashmir, the Dal Lake with its floating gardens of lotuses and lilies, and the delightful climate especially in early summer and autumn had attracted European travellers for several centuries…”
Mohammed Racim (24 June 1896 – 30 March 1975) was an Algerian artist who was the founder of the Algerian school of miniature painting that still exists today.
Racim was born into a distinguished family of artists of Turkish descent whose pre-colonial prosperity had been undermined by the French regime’s confiscation of property. Undaunted, Racim’s father established a copper working and woodcarving workshop in the Kasbah of the city. There his brother Omar Racim carried out the engraving of decorative tombstones, which led to the family being commissioned to embellish public buildings during French colonial rule.
Upon discovering miniature paintings created by Persian, Mughal and Andalusian artists for Muslim nobility, Racim embraced this style of painting, adding his own artistic expression, including traditional motifs and calligraphic forms. His ability to artistically recreate an era prior to the arrival of the French colonists made Mohammed Racim a prominent figure in Algerian culture.
Currently on display in the Treasures exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries, this is a half life-size gouache painting of a Sarus Crane, painted by Mughal-trained artist Shaikh Zain ud-Din. Found in northern parts of the subcontinent, the sarus crane is India’s largest bird, the males sometimes measuring two metres high. The painting was one of many remarkable studies of Indian and exotic birds commissioned by Lady Impey in the 1780s.
On the right we have zoomed in a little closer to show the incredibly detailed feathers.
In this painting attributed to the Muslim artist Payag, a demonic form of the Hindu goddess Bhairavi, female counterpart to Shiva, sits on the body of a decomposing corpse. Wearing jewelry and a skirt made of skulls, and horns emerging from her head, she is accompanied by Shiva who appears in the form of a devotee. Three of her hands carry symbols of destruction, while her fourth extends a gesture of blessing. The borders, added at a later date and executed in siyah qalam (gold monochrome), form a continuation of the desolate landscape in the painting itself. The inscription above the image, written in Devanagari, identifies Bhairavi. Mughal artists frequently depicted scenes from the Hindu tradition, as Shah Jahan and his predecessors were interested in the religion due to its historical significance and the large number of Hindu subjects under their rule.
What you’re looking at is a painting by an Indian artist, for an Indian audience, of a Native American couple. The curators postulate that the image is based off prints made from John White’s original watercolors of the people living in what is now North Carolina in the late 1500s, but it reflects Indian aesthetics and imagination of what those people would have looked like.
A Hindu ascetic, walking with his dog in an idealized landscape, with city buildings visible on the horizon.This work dates to a pivotal moment in the history of Mughal painting: the year when Jahangir replaced his father, Akbar, as emperor and chief patron of the imperial painting atelier. Both father and son were fascinated by Hindu ascetics, and frequently commissioned their artists to paint their portraits. In this unsigned work, an unnamed ascetic garbed in a flowing brown robe is seen striding purposefully through a landscape of gently rolling green hills, accompanied by his dog. Portraiture featuring a single figure shown in profile is a type that emerged under Akbar (r. 1565–1605), but it was under Jahangir (r. 1605–27) that it acquired greater psychological depth.Every element of this naturalistic portrait demonstrates the skill and sensitivity of the Mughal artist, from the careful study of foreground plants to the dignity of the saint-like figure and the silhouettes of trees in the distance. The blue and green hues of the landscape are ultimately derived from Persian painting, but the treatment of light and shadow and the close observation of nature have been learned from European art, brought to the Mughal court by Jesuits, diplomats and traders.
The study of an Indian black buck being led by its keeper was painted by the Mughal court artist Manohar, who signed his work on the green ground at top and bottom of the painting. The posture of the keeper who bends one knee, crouching slightly, while looking over his shoulder, is conceivably inspired by the figure of Joseph in Albrecht Durer’s engraving The Flight to Egypt. Engravings by, or after, Durer reached the Mughal court in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, brought mainly by the Jesuits who came from Portuguese Goa, and in several cases were copied directly by the imperial artists. Little is known of Manohar, but contemporary ascriptions to manuscripts attest to his having entered royal service under the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) and he became one of the most important artists of his son and successor, Jahangir (r. 1605-1627). Floral borders were added to his painting late in the reign of Jahangir or early in the reign of Shah Jahan, and the page was preserved in a royal album which became dismembered at some unknown date.
This painting by the Mughal court artists La’l and Kesav Khord depicts the Mughal emperor Akbar (r.1556–1605) hunting for black buck using his trained cheetahs. It is an illustration to the Akbarnama (Book of Akbar), commissioned by Akbar as the official chronicle of his reign.
The Akbarnama was written in Persian by Akbar’s court historian and biographer, Abu’l Fazl, between 1590 and 1596, and the V&A’s partial copy of the manuscript is thought to have been illustrated between about 1592 and 1595. This is thought to be the earliest illustrated version of the text, and drew upon the expertise of some of the best royal artists of the time. Many of these are listed by Abu’l Fazl in the third volume of the text, the A’in-i Akbari, and some of these names appear in the V&A illustrations, written in red ink beneath the pictures, showing that this was a royal copy made for Akbar himself. After his death, the manuscript remained in the library of his son Jahangir, from whom it was inherited by Shah Jahan.