Deccan Style Paintings

Painting at the Deccani courts grew from a hybrid cultural back-ground comparable to that of the Mughal School, but with quite different and regrettably short-lived results. By the 16th century five Muslim sultanates had emerged in the Deccan, which, acting together for the only time in their history, disposed of the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar in 1565. Afterwards they constantly formed factions and went to war in all almost frivolous manner. Unlike the Mughals, the Sultans faded to take the business of state-craft and territorial domination seriously. They put more passion into the pursuit of courtly pleasures and the patronage of music, literature and the arts. These projects benefited from a rich cultural mixture of Hindu court traditions inherited from the Vijayanagar empire with those introduced by the many Middle Eutern immigrants - Persians, Arabs, Turks and Africans who had been attracted by the wealth of the Deccani kingdoms. Some European influence was also present, but it was less conspicuous than in Mughal art. The period of greatest achievement lasted only a few decades, for the empire-building Mughals found little difficulty in subjugating the Deccani rulers. Of the three courts known to have patronised painting, Ahmadnagar fell in 1600, While Bijapur and Golconda were finally taken by Aurangaeb in I686-7.

Those early Deccani paintings which survive are now scattered its many collections. Though few in number, they are remarkably consistent in quality, combining a high degree of finish with a playful refinement of line and subtle richness of palette. Portraits of rulers lack the sober, documentary realism or portentous imperial symbolism of their Mughal counterparts. They are imbued instead with a snood of indolent enjoyment, a conscious and self-absorbed appreciation of the passing moment. The most outstanding single patron was Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur (1579-1627). Ibrahim was above all things a rasika, a Sanskrit term for the man of highly developed sensibility, one who is cognisant of the rasas) (literally, ‘juice’ or ‘essence’), the sublimated emotional states on which Indian aesthetics are based: they can be approximately translated as love, heroism, disgust, rage, terror, joy, com-passion, wonder and peace. He composed a book of lyrics, the Kitab-i Nauras (Book of the Nine Rasas), which contains invocations both to the Hindu deities Sarasvati and Ganesha and a Muslim saint, as well as to his favourite elephant and the beloved lute, named Mod Khan, with which he would accompany his singing. He was a master of the slow and dignified dhrupad vocal style, and generous provision was made for the thousands of court musicians in his new city of Nauraspur (City of the Nine Rasas). Besides fine elephants, he had a weakness for jewels and mangoes (a plate of them appears beside hint here) and he enjoyed taming falcons and parrots. He is said to have written a treatise on chess describing various new and baffling moves, but he did not excel as a statesman or general.

A study of a richly caparisoned horse held by a groom, whose costume shows sonic European influence, is the work of one of Ibrahim's leading painters. Its freshness of coloring is set off by the use of gold, and the trees and plants are suggested by a deftly attenuated line and delicate stippling. A painting of a female ascetic seated by a stream, although it is another later and less fine version of an original work of Ibrahim's period, displays she lush landscape conventions and compact density of composition of Bijapur painting.

In 1636 Bijapur was compelled to accept Mughal suzerainty. Lavish exchanges of presents always accompanied political relations between states, and paintings as well as elephants, jewels and money travelled in both directions. The fully developed Mughal style of portraiture inevitably began to influence contemporary work at Bijapur and Golconda. Even so, its naturalistic conventions were often interpreted with subtlety and splendour by the southern artists. A portrait of Muhammad Adil Shah (1627-56) riding an elephant, accompanied by his minister who fans him, is derived from a Mughal model, as seen for example in a brush-drawing of a Mughal prince riding the elephant Mahabir Deb; as it happens, the inscription in Shah jahan's hand records Ella this elephant was presented to him as tribute by Muhammad Adil Shah. While the Mughal artist has meticulously emphasized the finely textured wrinkles and mottling of the elephant's skin, the two Deccani Painters have set its smoky dark mass against a vivid blue ground, throwing into relief the sumptuous textile patterns and the Sultan's gold coat, which has been minutely pricked to catch the light.

From the 1650s the Bijapur and Golconda artists lust their earlier inspiration, and their work declined into more insipid versions of Mughal themes. Aurangzeb's conquest finally disrupted their traditions. In the 18th century, however, as Mughal control of the provinces weakened, the viceroy Asaf jah was able to establish an independent dynasty based at Hyderabad, near Golconda. Painting began to flourish there in a style which mixed the romantic flavor of the former Golconda school with an increasing Mughal pallor and rigidity. Nevertheless, a portrait of a Hyderabad minister retains considerable delicacy of composition and detail. Versions of the Hyderabad style were widely patronized. A painting from the Maratha court at Tanjore in the far south is one of the last in a long line of Deccani procession scenes. Raja Tuljaji (1765-89) appears as always in profile, wearing a flowered gold coat and riding a frisky horse; but his retainers already show the influence of the Company style. Within a few years his adopted son Sarabhoji, who had been tutored by the Danish missionary Swartz, would be patronising natural history painting of the European type.

Finally Deccan Style Painting is part of Mughal School of Art and we have collection of some prominent paintings of this style in beautiful look…

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Rupmati and Baz Bahadur Out Hawking

 PABC001 
 Rupmati and Baz Bahadur Out Hawking 
 $57.00 
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Todi Ragini

 PABC033 
 Todi Ragini 
 $50.00 
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Two Friends

 PABC046 
 Two Friends 
 $51.00 
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Ibrahim Adil Shah with a lady

 PABC044 
 Ibrahim Adil Shah with a lady 
 $52.00 
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Ragaputra Malwa

 PABC018 
 Ragaputra Malwa 
 $52.00 
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Mohammed Adil Shah and his minister riding elephant

 PABC047 
 Mohammed Adil Shah and his minister riding elephant 
 $52.00 
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Musical Performance

 PABC043 
 Musical Performance 
 $61.00 
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Chand Bibi playing Polo

 PABC022 
 Chand Bibi playing Polo 
 $55.00 
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Playing Dice Game

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 Playing Dice Game 
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Raga Hindola and Ragini Talangi

 PABC024 
 Raga Hindola and Ragini Talangi 
 $57.00 
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Raga Hindola

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 Raga Hindola 
 $55.00 
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Ragaputra Kusum

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 Ragaputra Kusum 
 $53.00 
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Ragaputra Bengal

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 Ragaputra Bengal 
 $53.00 
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Ragaputra Barbel

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 Ragaputra Barbel 
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Ragaputra Pancham

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 Ragaputra Pancham 
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Ragaputra Vibhasha

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 Ragaputra Vibhasha 
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Ragaputra Rama

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 Ragaputra Rama 
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Ragaputra Srubhago

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 Ragaputra Srubhago 
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Ragaputra Vinod

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 Ragaputra Vinod 
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Ragini Abiri

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 Ragini Abiri 
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