This Miniature Artist of the 17th Century was a favorite of Emperor Jahangir. He accompanied Jahangir on some of his travels and was then in charge of the documentation of plants and animals. He was keen observer of nature and was endowed with the ability to depict plants and animal with geometrical precision. His reputation as an artist of species from the world of flora and fauna has remained unsurpassed till today. Mansur's portraits of birds, animals and flowers set in their natural habitat can be seen as one of the earliest scientific studies of the animal word. His intention was to capture the very quintessence of nature's endless variety of creation and beauty. His works are characterized by delicate brushwork and effusive use of colors. He used varied substances for coloring his drawings, namely- minerals, vegetables, precious stones, indigo, conch shells, pure gold and silver.
Miniature Paintings- Ustad Mansurís chosen Art Form
Ustad Mansur was a renowned Miniature artist. His contribution to the evolution of this art form is undeniable. However, its unfortunate that Miniature Painting as an art form did not propagate individual fame of artists. Most Miniature Artists languish in anonymity because the style is prioritized to the content. In that respect Ustad Mansur and Govardhan were exceptions. They gained much acclaim in his lifetime and indeed way beyond it.
Ustad Mansurís Paintings
Ustad Mansur engaged himself with varied themes but he was best known for his nature paintings. His painting of the Dodo (an extinct bird) is seen as the only scientifically accurate depiction of the bird. His painting of a Pea Fowl and the Barbet are quite popular too and even today the printed versions of these paintings are much sought after.