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Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Bangladeshi painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Government School of Art in Calcutta from 1933 to 1938, and then taught there until 1947. His work first attracted public attention in 1943 when he produced a powerful series of drawings of the Bengal famine. After the partition of India and Pakistan in ...

Article

‛Abid  

Jeffrey A. Hughes

Indian miniature painter, son of Aqa Riza and brother of Abu’l-Hasan. Both his father and his brother worked for the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reg 1605–27). Although ‛Abid probably began working in the royal atelier c. 1615, all of his known signed works are datable to the reign of ...

Article

J. P. Losty

Indian painter.

In 1618 the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reg 1605–27) wrote in his memoirs that Abu’l-Hasan’s ‘work was perfect…At the present time he has no rival or equal… Truly he has become Nadir al-Zaman (“Wonder of the age”)’. Some of this artist’s paintings are among the greatest in Mughal art. He was born in Jahangir’s household in ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

Pakistani painter. She introduced non-traditional pictorial imagery in Pakistan and initiated a new era in painting. She completed a degree in political science at Kinnaird College, Lahore. Her introverted disposition and concentrated study of philosophy formed the background against which her abstract ‘idea’ paintings emerged. At the Lahore School of Fine Art (...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

Pakistani painter, sculptor and printmaker. Educated in Pakistan and abroad, he has consciously and successfully synthesized Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions. In 1963, a year after graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, he joined the faculty as a lecturer in art, later becoming a professor and head of the Department of Fine Arts. His studies abroad have included post-graduate work in London (...

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Iranian miniature painter and calligrapher, active also in India. Trained in Safavid Iran, ‛Abd al-Samad migrated to India, where he became director of the Mughal painting workshops under the emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605). In this key position, he influenced the development of Mughal painting in the second half of the 16th century more than any other artist (...

Article

Sheila R. Canby

Persian painter, active also in India. He was the son of the Safavid-period painter Mir Musavvir. Though Qazi Ahmad, writing in the late 16th century, deemed him cleverer in art than his father, Mir Sayyid ‛Ali reveals paternal influence in his meticulous rendering of ornamental patterns and details. As he was a junior artist at the time of the royal ...

Article

Robert Skelton

Persian painter, active in India. He has been identified from three inscribed works bearing his name: a Seated Poet (Boston, MA, Mus. F.A.), a Seated Youth (Washington, DC, Freer) and the drawing of A Girl in the Binney Collection (San Diego, CA, Mus. A.). The latter, signed Muhammad ‛Ali Jahangir Shahi with the presumed regnal date 5 (...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

Pakistani painter. A seminal figure, Shakir ‛Ali introduced Cubism to Lahore in 1952. His style quickly became fashionable there, was adopted in Karachi and dominated the art scene for more than a decade (see Pakistan, Islamic Republic of, §III).

Shakir ‛Ali first studied painting at the Ukil Brothers Studio in Delhi. In ...

Article

Anant  

Philippa Vaughan

Indian miniature painter. Trained in the studio of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605), he blossomed under Akbar’s successor Jahangir (reg 1605–27). Anant is known through two sole compositions in the Tīmūrnāma (‘History of Timur’; 1584; Bankipur, Patna, Khuda Bakhsh Lib., fols 182...

Article

John Seyller

Indian miniature painter , brother of Payag. Balchand began his long career in the imperial Mughal atelier with figural illuminations on at least three pages (fols 17r, 33v, 60v) of the Bāharistān (‘Spring garden’) of Jamiz of 1595 (Oxford, Bodleian Lib., MS. Elliot 254). The small, repetitive figures in two lightly coloured illustrations in the ...

Article

Basawan  

Milo Cleveland Beach

Indian miniature painter. One of the great talents to flourish under the emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605), he was a prolific painter who contributed to virtually all the great illustrated manuscripts executed in the imperial workshops over a span of some 40 years. While most Mughal artists were concerned with the importance of line, colour and surface pattern, Basawan, with a greater understanding of the techniques of imported European works, developed a palette closer to that of European oil painting and dissolved outlines to create greater three-dimensionality. In his work, surface patterns are subservient to a dramatic spatial penetration of the picture plane. These traits were quite new within both Indian and Islamic traditions, and Basawan led the vanguard in adopting them. His work is remarkable also for the complexity of his compositions, his skill at giving roundness and density to his figures and his sensitive portrait-like faces. A contemporary assessment of Basawan is found in the ...

Article

Robert Skelton, Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

Persian painter, active in India. He went to India at the age of 39. His year of birth, ah 954–5 (ad 1547–8), has been calculated from an inscribed painting, executed when he was 70 in ah 1024. His ethnic origin has been given by Abu’l Fazl as Qalmaq and elsewhere as Qaqshali (a misreading of Qashqa’i?). He evidently received his training in Khurasan, probably from artists associated with the production of a manuscript of Jami’s ...

Article

Bhagwan  

Philippa Vaughan

Indian miniature painter. His career illustrates the difficulties experienced by Hindu artists in adjusting to the demanding patronage of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605). His nine folios in the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’, c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615) are the largest group by a single artist, indicating that he must have worked on the ...

Article

Philippa Vaughan

Indian miniature painter. A Hindu, he was a lesser artist active throughout the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605). He worked on two folios in the Ṭūṭīnāma (‘Tales of a parrot’, c. 1567, alternatively dated 1556–60; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A., 62.279) and thus would have participated in producing the ...

Article

Bichitr  

John Seyller

Indian miniature painter. Bichitr’s career spanned the reigns of the Mughal emperors Jahangir (reg 1605–27) and Shah Jahan (reg 1628–58). What are apparently his earliest works show the same accomplished technique and surface brilliance that characterize those from the end of his career. Only three examples have inscribed dates: two paintings of ...

Article

Anand Krishna

Indian miniature painter. Not to be confused with the contemporary master Farrukh Beg, he was a middle-rank, prolific painter who contributed to most of the major illustrated manuscripts produced for the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605), starting from the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’; c....

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

Pakistani painter, etcher and engraver. Though he was self-taught, his early style is indistinguishable from that of the Bengal School (see Calcutta, §3). He may have been influenced by the Calcutta-trained painter Samenendranath Gupta, who was a teacher and vice-principal at the Mayo School of Arts during Chughtai’s years there in the early 1920s as a drawing master in the photolithography department....

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach

Indian miniature painter, nephew of Nanha. He is known mainly for his portraits, in the finest of which he not only conveyed a likeness of the people he painted but also showed an interest in the psychological penetration of his subjects and the exploration of the emotional currents and interactions among figures, even minor ones. He worked on several imperial commissions at the end of the reign of the emperor Akbar (...

Article

Asok Kumar Das

Indian miniature painter. Although he was not included in Abu’l Fazl’s list of 17 leading painters of the workshop of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605), starting as a colourist in the 1580s he matured into a top-class painter, producing many superb miniatures in the last decade of the 16th century. He worked as a colourist to Kesav Das in a miniature of the ...