Examine the characteristic features of Mughal painting.

Mughal painting is a particular style of Indian painting, generally confined to miniatures either as book illustrations or as.single works to be kept in albums, which emerged from Persian miniature painting, with Indian Hindu and Buddhist influences, and developed during the period of the Mughal Empire (16th-19th centuries). Mughal painting developed and flourished during the reigns of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. During the reign of Akbar (1556-1605), the imperial court, apart from being the centre of administrative authority to manage and rule the vast Mughal empire, also emerged as a centre of cultural excellence. Mughal painting thrived and hundred of painters created innumerable paintings depicting scenes from various Hindu epics including the Ramayana and the Mahabharata themes with animal fables individual portraits; and paintings on scores of different themes.

Mughal style during this period continued to refine itself with elements of realism and naturalism coming to the fore. Jahangir (1605-27) had an artistic inclination and during his reign Mughal painting developed further. Brushwork became finer and the colors lighter. He particularly encouraged paintings depicting events of his own life, individual portraits, and studies of birds, flowers and animals. The Jahangirnama, written during his lifetime, which is a biographical account of Jahangir, has several paintings, including some unusual subjects such as the sexual union of a saint with a tigress, and fights between spiders. During the reign of Shah Jahan (1628-58), Mughal paintings continued to develop, but they gradually became cold and rigid. Themes including musical parties lovers, Sometimes in intimate positions, on terraces and gardens; and ascetics gathered around a fire, abound in the Mughal paintings of this period. Govardhan was a noted painter during the reigns of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan.

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