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    ARTICLE

    Minto Album

    Map Academy

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    One of the most well-known muraqqas from South Asia, the Minto album is a collection of individually painted Mughal miniature paintings. Made between 1612 and 1640, the album was created during the reigns of Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The album gets its name from its previous colonial owners, either the first Earl Minto, Governor-General of India from 1807–13, or the fourth Earl Minto, Viceroy of India from 1905–10.

    The album contains features of both Jahangir and Shah Jahan’s ateliers — Jahangir’s inclination towards Persian imagery and Shah Jahan’s focus on formal portraiture is assimilated in the creation of this album. Several pages of the album consist of prominent floral borders, a style typical of Shah Jahan’s atelier. The album also features paintings of either emperor with the image of a globe, which was considered an emphatic declaration of power and supremacy. A notable example is a portrait of Jahangir shooting an arrow at the head of Malik Ambar, his rival, while standing on top of a globe. Artists such as Padarath, Mansur, Bichitr, Govardhan and Hashim, amongst several others, contributed to the album.

    Of the forty folios of the manuscript that exist today, nineteen are with the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin and twenty-one are with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), London.

     
    Bibliography

    Rosenberg, Karen. “An Emperors’ Art: Small, Refined, Jewel Toned.” New York Times, July 18, 2008. https://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/arts/design/18mugh.html

    Victoria and Albert Museum. “Bichitr”. Accessed December 31, 2021. https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O113210/shah-jahan-painting-bichitr/

    Welch, Stuart Cary. The Emperors' Album: Images of Mughal India. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/The_Emperors_Album/FDIyr9LRJ0MC?hl=en&gbpv=0.

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