Chapter Four: The Mughal Court and the Art of Observation

The Emperor Shah Jahan with His Son Dara Shikoh: Folio from the Shah Jahan Album (verso). About 1620. Artist: Nanha (active 1605–27). India

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • understand the role of luxury objects in the Mughal court of India
  • recognize how the precise and highly naturalistic depictions of animals, plants, and people demonstrate the Mughals' extraordinary interest in the natural world and the keen observational skills of Mughal artists

The Mughal dynasty (1526–1858) was among the richest and longest ruling in India, and at its peak controlled large portions of the Indian subcontinent.

Read in-depth information about featured works of art related to this unit.

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Unit Five: Chapter Four Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan: The Mughal Court and the Art of Observation

Students will be able to recognize ways works of art reflect an intense interest in observation of the human and natural world among Mughal leaders; and understand ways works of art from the past and present communicate ideas about the natural world.

Red-Headed Vulture and Long-Billed Vulture: Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

The lesson plan related to The Mughal Court and the Art of Observation features a folio from the Shah Jahan album.