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Article

Aligarh  

Walter Smith

[anc. Koil]

City in Uttar Pradesh, India, 135 km south-east of Delhi. A Rajput stronghold, Koil fell to Muslim invaders in ad 1194. Several later monuments were built on the foundations of its Hindu temples, no early examples of which survive. During the first half of the 15th century Koil figured in the confrontations between the Sharqis of Jaunpur and the armies of the Delhi Sultanate. The fort, built in 1524 during the reign of Ibrahim Lodi, was rebuilt by Sabit Khan in 1717 and extensively redesigned by the French in the early 19th century. Several monuments attributed to the period of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) in the Bagh-i-Gesu Khan (now a public cemetery) include a pillared pavilion with a low dome and the remains of another double-storey pavilion; the supposed tomb of Gesu Khan, an official of Akbar, is a red sandstone structure set on a plinth with lattice screens and crowned by a low dome. The Jami‛ Masjid, at the summit of a long, steep slope called the Bala Qila, was begun in the 17th century but almost completely reworked in ...

Article

J. B. Harrison

[anc. Prayaga]

City of religious, strategic and administrative importance in Uttar Pradesh, India. Located at the confluence of the sacred rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mystical Saraswati, Allahabad has drawn Hindu pilgrims for centuries. The earliest monument is a stone pillar, inscribed with edicts of Ashoka (reg c. 269–c. 232 bc), a panegyric of the Gupta king Samudragupta (reg c. ad 335–76) and a record of its re-erection in 1605 by the Mughal emperor Jahangir (reg 1605–27). Brooding over the Sangam (sacred bathing area) is the massive sandstone fort of Akbar (reg 1556–1605), built in 1584 to guard the river-route to Bengal. As at Agra, Delhi and Lahore, the fort enclosed residential quarters and palace buildings, but these were substantially altered during British tenure in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some indication of their former splendour is given in aquatints by Thomas and William Daniell family.

Mughal residences and gardens straggled along the Yamuna from the fort to the city. Prince Salim, the future emperor ...

Article

Bhagwan  

Philippa Vaughan

[Bagwan]

(fl late 1570s–c. 1600).

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 Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’, c. 1567–82, alternatively dated c. 1562–77); however, the tracing and awkward juxtaposition of Persian models show that the task was alien to him (fols 23r and 25v). Where Hindu conventions, and especially female forms, could be introduced, he was more confident (fol. 62r). This was a feature of his work in the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’, 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS AG. 1683–1850; fol. 93 designed by Lal, coloured by Bhagwan). Nonetheless, in many of the nine folios, to which he was assigned as colourist with the masters ...

Article

Philippa Vaughan

[Banvari; Banwari Kalan; Banwali Kalan]

(fl c. 1570–c. 1596).

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 Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’, c. 1567–82, alternatively dated c. 1562–77). His single contribution to the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’, c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615, fol. 36r) is an awkward composition of carefully traced models from Persian sources. However, his work in the large-scale manuscripts of the 1580s, such as the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’, 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS. AG. 1683–1850, fols 15, 34–5, 62, 122 plus one sole composition fol. 168), shows he was a competent colourist. Further, he had a sole composition in the Tīmūrnāma (‘History of Timur’, ...

Article

Philippa Vaughan

[Kesu; Kesu Kalan; Keshava Kalan]

(fl c. 1570–c. 1602)

Indian miniature painter. A Hindu, he is best known for his copies and adaptations of European prints, of which the most famous is St Matthew the Evangelist. Signed Kesu Das and dated ah 996 (ad 1587–8), this is based on an engraving by Philip Galle after Maarten van Heemskerck. Kesu Das’s understanding and transformation of European techniques in rendering volume and space made a decisive contribution to the evolution of the studio under the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605). Named fifth of the seventeen painters listed in order of seniority in the Āyin-i Akbarī, a contemporary account of Akbar’s administration as it was c. 1590, Kesu Das was well established by the early 1580s and thus would have worked on the great Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’; c. 1567–82, alternatively dated 1562–77). In the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’; c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615, fol. 46r...

Article

Milo Cleveland Beach

[Dasavanta]

(fl c. 1560; d 1584).

Indian miniature painter. His name indicates that he was a Hindu. According to Abu’l-Fazl, writing in the Ā’īn-i Akbarī, the annals of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605), Daswanth was the son of a palanquin-bearer (kahār) who worked in the royal workship. He was a favourite artist of the emperor Akbar, who discovered his talent and sent him to the master painter ‛Abd al-Samad for training, and in ‘a short time he surpassed all painters and became the first master of the age’ (Eng. trans., p. 114). He is known mainly for his highly imaginative and original compositions, where the irrational tends to dominate the realistic. Contemporary writers described him as a madman, and Abu’l-Fazl acknowledged that some critics preferred the more naturalistic work of the painter Basawan.

Daswanth’s earliest known works are illustrations of the Ṭū ṭīnāma (‘Tales of a parrot’; c. 1556–61, other scholars prefer ...

Article

Dhannu  

Philippa Vaughan

[Dhanu]

(fl c. 1580–c. 1600).

Indian miniature painter. A Hindu, he was established in the studio of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) by the early 1580s and thus would have worked on the Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’; c. 1567–82; alternatively dated 1562–77). His five compositions in the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’; c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615, fols 38r, 41r, 41v, 75r and 104v) are imaginative, with some attempt at naturalism in drawing and palette. His single contribution to the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’; 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS. AG. 1683–1850, fol. 12) was as the colourist of a design by Basawan, although in the Tīmūrnāma (‘History of Timur’; 1584; Bankipur, Patna, Khuda Bakhsh Lib., 269) he was the sole artist of two illustrations (fols 178v and 269r) and worked as a colourist on designs by Basawan (fol. 53...

Article

Philippa Vaughan

[Khem; Kemkaran]

(fl c. 1580–c. 1605).

Indian miniature painter. A Hindu, he was 13th of the 17 artists listed in the Āyin-i Akbarī, a contemporary account of the administration of the Mughal emperor Akbar (reg 1556–1605) as it was c. 1590. As he was established by the 1580s, probably having worked on the Hamzanāma (‘Tales of Hamza’; c. 1567–82; alternatively dated 1562–77), his fine composition in the Dārābnāma (‘Story of Darab’; c. 1580–85; London, BL, Or. 4615, fol. 89v) qualified him to work in several capacities on the Razmnāma (‘Book of wars’; 1582–6; Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Mus., MS. AG. 1683–1850): as sole artist (fols 27, 53 and 107), as designer (fol. 28) and as colourist (fols 78 and 165). Perhaps he was a poor teacher, or a slow worker, for in the other manuscripts produced by teams of artists his few illustrations were sole compositions: Tīmūrnāma (1584...

Article

R. N. Mehta

[Cambay; Khambhayat]

City at the mouth of the Mali River, c. 84 km south of Ahmadabad in Gujarat, India. Although it was a flourishing commercial centre from the 8th to the 18th century ad, Khambhat’s many Hindu and Jaina temples were destroyed by ‛Ala al-Din Khalji (reg 1296–1316) in 1299, and it suffered further invasions between the 14th and 17th centuries, including a Portuguese raid in 1538. Several European factories were built during the 17th century. However, the final decline of the city was caused by the depredations of the Marathas in the late 18th century and the silting up of the harbour, which diverted trade to nearby Surat.

The remarkable congregational mosque (Jami‛ Masjid), dated by inscription to 1325, consists of an inner courtyard surrounded by a colonnade constructed of pillars from local temples and a prayer-hall with bays marked by low domes; each dome, apart from those above the three prayer niches, or mihrabs, has a corresponding window perforated with lattice patterns in the traditional Gujarati style. Attached to the south side of the mosque is a square, pillared chamber with a ruined circular inner court, housing the intricately carved tomb of the wealthy merchant ...

Article

Sikhism  

Arvind Sharma

Religion founded in the 15th century in the Punjab, India, by Guru Nanak (1469–1538). Sikhism arose in an age marked by several attempts to facilitate the peaceful co-existence of Hinduism and Islam in the Indian subcontinent and at a time when the mutual interaction of these two religions had led to a common emphasis on devotional mysticism (see Hinduism §I). Its name, meaning ‘religion of the disciples’ (Punjabi), derives from the commitment of its followers to the teaching of the ten Sikh Gurus (spiritual guides) and their holy book, the Adi Granth, as against the formalism of both Hinduism and Islam.

Like Islam, Sikhism emphasizes belief in a single God who is without fear and hatred; described as creator, he is omnipotent, eternal and equated with truth. His worship is the supreme duty of the Sikh, for although God is without form he is not devoid of attributes. In common with Hindu beliefs, the world, seen in relation to God, is ultimately unreal (...