200 paintings, 274 folios—Why Abul Fazl’s ‘Akbarnama’ remains an unmatched document
200 paintings, 274 folios—Why Abul Fazl’s ‘Akbarnama’ remains an unmatched document
April 23, 2023
The art of Islamic calligraphy: ‘revered above painting’
The art of Islamic calligraphy: ‘revered above painting’
April 25, 2023
200 paintings, 274 folios—Why Abul Fazl’s ‘Akbarnama’ remains an unmatched document
200 paintings, 274 folios—Why Abul Fazl’s ‘Akbarnama’ remains an unmatched document
April 23, 2023
The art of Islamic calligraphy: ‘revered above painting’
The art of Islamic calligraphy: ‘revered above painting’
April 25, 2023

An official chronicle of the reign of Akbar, the Akbarnama is a collection of texts and illustrated manuscripts, written in Farsi (Persian) by the court historian and biographer Abu’l-Fazl ibn Mubarak, and commissioned by Akbar himself. Composed between 1590 and 1597 CE, the manuscript consists of 274 folios of text interspersed with 116 illustrated folios and one illuminated frontispiece. The manuscript was worked on by some of the most celebrated painters of the time such as Basawan, Miskin, Farrukh Beg, Lal, Kesar Kalan, Jagan, Mukund and Madhu, amongst others. Sultan Bayazid Before Timur (Folio From an Akbarnama (History of Akbar)), Dharam Das, c. 1600, Ink, opaque watercolour, and gold on paper | Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each folio is sized at 38.1 x 22.4 cm, with the paintings averaging about 33 x 20 cm. As its author, Abu’l-Fazl is likely to have written the entire […]

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