Volume 64 Number 2, December 2012

Wonders of Nature: Ustad Mansur at the Mughal Court

By:  Asok Kumar Das
Binding: Hardcover
Specifications: 176 pages, 150 illustrations
ISBN: 978-81-921106-5-3
Dimensions: 305 x 241 mm

Ustad Mansur is considered one of the greatest natural history painters of all time. His early career was spent working in the atelier of Mughal Emperor Akbar under the supervision of established masters. He was noticed by Prince Salim, later Emperor Jahangir with whom he was to work and travel extensively. It was for Jahangir’s albums that Mansur painted many of his animal, bird and flower studies that were a perfect blend of naturalism and aesthetic beauty.

This book presents a detailed study of his work in different genres, including some examples never before published. The author has spent several decades in pursuit of his subject, and has personally examined every possible work in museums, libraries and private collections.

Asok Kumar Das (b. 1938) is currently Tagore National Fellow at the Indian Museum, Kolkata. He worked as Deputy Keeper, Art, at the Indian Museum, Kolkata, and Director, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, Jaipur. He later taught at Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan as Satyajit Ray Chair, and was a Visiting Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Dr Das has travelled extensively delivering lectures, participating in seminars and colloquiums, and examining collections of Indian and Islamic arts and crafts at museums across the world. He has published books, papers and articles on different aspects of Mughal, Rajasthani and Pahari art and culture. His most recent book is Paintings of the Razmnama: The Book of War.

Preface 

I           Introduction

II         Baburnama: Mansur’s Early Natural History Paintings

III        Historical Paintings and Portraits by Mansur

IV        The Illumination Work of Mansur Naqqash

V         Wonder of the Age: Studies of Animals and Birds

VI        Mansur’s Flower Paintings

VII      The Legacy of Ustad Mansur

Notes

Bibliography

Glossary

Index 

Wonders of Nature: Ustad Mansur at the Mughal Court
Das, Asok Kumar
Vol. 64 No. 2, December 2012; ISBN: 978-81-921106-5-3, pp. 1–176

Ustad Mansur is considered one of the greatest natural history painters of all time. In spite of his pre-eminence as a painter and illuminator of manuscripts, no biographical information about Ustad Mansur is known, not even the year of his death. This book presents a detailed study of Ustad Mansur’s work in different genres, including some never before published. The author has spent several decades in pursuit of his subject, and has personally examined every possible work in museums, libraries and private collections.