start page
SHAH JAHAN VISITING A RELIGIOUS TEACHER. British Museum
SHAH JAHAN VISITING A RELIGIOUS TEACHER


This is an example of a type of subject dear to Mughal artists, who liked, to depict in this manner the contrast of temporal and spiritual power. Laurence Binyon, who greatly admired this particular miniature, con¬sidered it 'the finest, the most felt and most complete' example of its type which he had seen. 'Has Mughal art, indeed, anything more beautiful in its whole range than this painting? It is wholly Indian in feeling, in atmosphere, in handling. The immemorial life of the Indian fields goes on in its wide tranquillity around these seated figures . . . and the whole scene is bathed in a tender quietness'.
The picture has not previously been reproduced in colour except in a museum postcard. It shows Mughal art entirely emancipated from its Persian connections, and with but few unobtrusive Western reminiscences; at a time when it had not, moreover, acquired the hieratic immobility which was shortly to assert itself in group compositions.