This volume depicts the life and times of the Mughal emperor Jahangir in the light of his memoirs, Jahangirnama, popularly known as Tuzuk-i Jahangiri. With its fresh treatment of source material and a vivid account of historical events, the book tells the history of Jahangir’s India through his intimate and confessional memoirs incorporated in the genre of Mughal manuscript painting. The work is noteworthy for its historical portraits as well as Jahangir’s visual realism, his remarkable knowledge of natural history, and the perceptive and detailed descriptions of the world around him.
Moving away from conventional historical writing, the book is a psychological study of an individual, his innate qualities, behavioural moves and instinctive affinities. Jahangir’s memoirs reveal deeper facets of him as a person as well as a poet, aesthete, connoisseur of painting and a keen observer of nature, both human and that of the natural world. The author also includes other contemporary literature of the period that narrate Jahangir’s life, such as Akbarnama, Ma’asir-i Jahangiri, Iqbalnama-i Jahangiri, Intikhab-i Jahangiri, Tatimma-i Waqi’at-i Jahangiri and Zakhirat-ul Khwanin, as well as Jesuits accounts and travelogues. He further analyses the influence of European Renaissance art on the history of Mughal paintings.
A first of its kind, this book will greatly interest scholars and researchers of medieval history, Indian history, Mughal history, art history, popular culture and South Asian studies, as well as the general reader.
Table of Contents
List of figures. Preface. Acknowledgements. Glossary. List of abbreviations. 1. Jahangir 2. His appearance and nature 3. An aesthete, alive to his surroundings 4. Curious zoologist 5. Connoisseur of painting 6. Celebrator of diverse faiths 7. Justice-observing ruler 8. The indefatigable hunter 9. Graphic narrator 10. A man of no common ability 11. A modern man in the making. Select bibliography. Index
Som Prakash Verma is former Professor at the Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University, India and superannuated in 2004. He was Senior Academic Fellow at the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) (2013–15); Tagore National Fellow (2010–12); Emeritus Fellow at the University Grants Commission (2007–9); Senior Fellow at ICHR (2007–9); and Fulbright Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC (1986–7). He is also a practising artist and recipient of two awards from the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta (1981) and the Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar (1982). His publications include The Illustrated Baburnama (2016); Mughal Paintings (2014); Interpreting Mughal Painting: Essays on Art, Society and Culture (2009); 1857: An Illustrated History (2008); Painting the Mughal Experience (2005); Mughal Painter of Flora and Fauna: Ustad Mansur (1999); and Mughal Painters and Their Work: A Bibliographical Survey and Comprehensive Catalogue (1994).