Persian Paintings have inspired many Indian Art Forms. Colorful Indian Miniature painting owe their distinct style and form to the aristocratic Persian School. The plush court scenes and hunting expeditions are trademark Persian themes.
The most distinct influence of the Persian Art can be found in Mughal Paintings. Mughal Ruler, Humayun was fascinated with Persian Paintings when he sampled them in the court of Shah Tahmasp II in Tabriz. So smitten was he with the art form that he brought two Persian Painters along with him to India. The Indianised version of their work is what we know as the Mughal Paintings. The earliest example of Mughal Paintings would be the Tutinama (literal meaning “Tales of a Parrot”), now in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The Persian Style
Persian paintings were mostly about the pride of the kings and rulers. There were also religious Persian paintings, which represented the Persian interpretations of Islam.
Persian Paintings are well known for their use of geometry and vivid colors.
The sheer symmetry of most Persian Miniatures is breathtaking. The most complex situations (battles, court scenes) were absorbed by the Persian artists to produce comprehensive works of art, which questioned the complexities of other masterpieces.
Persian Paintings were most importantly illustrative; a true marriage of Poetry and Art can be seen in them. They seem to be illustrations of a very poetic narrative and have the sweeping feel of epics. So its not surprising to find out that most of these paintings were inspired from great works of poetry. The anecdotal nature of Persian Poetry finds its mirror image in Persian Paintings. The lines of most Persian paintings are firm and confident; there is a keen focus on the silhouettes and distribution of details is almost flawless.
The genesis of Persian Paintings
It's quite difficult to trace the roots of Persian Paintings but most historians suggest that since it reached its peak during the Mongol Period , it has Chinese origins . After all Mongolian rulers did bring along with them Chinese painters, and therefore a cult of Chinese paintings.
Mughal Rulers and Persian Paintings
As stated before, Humayun was the first of the Mughal rulers to be smitten with Persian Paintings. But the subsequent proponents were no less enthusiastic about it. Indeed Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan did everything in their power to internalize Persian Paintings.
Akbar adapted it to suit Indian sensibilities by incorporating Hindu mythological figures.
Jahangir encouraged the depiction of his life through Jahangirnama. In fact Jahangirnama had several unusual paintings like ones, which depicted sexual union of a saint with a tigress, and fights between spiders.
Persian Paintings were so internalized by Indian painters that they soon became a part of their psyche.