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The Mughals

In the seventeenth century, a dynasty of emperors, now known as the Mughals, celebrated a glorious Golden Age. Descended from the Timurid rulers of Iran and Central Asia, the Mughals were a Muslim, Persian-speaking dynasty. Many of the South Asian paintings and manuscripts in the Royal Collection on display in this room date to the period when the Mughal Empire, richer and stronger than any European power, encompassed much of the Indian subcontinent.

Early Encounters

Elizabeth I granted a group of 125 merchants a monopoly on all English trade to Asia, giving birth to the East India...

The rise of the East India Company

The East India Company’s fortunes went from strength to strength after a treaty of 1765

The Mughal art of the book

The finest examples were illuminated, illustrated with exquisite paintings and protected by leather bindings and silk...

An album of calligraphy and painting

The Persian name for an album of paintings and calligraphy is muraqqa, derived from the Arabic word for ‘patchwork’

An album of portraits

In Mughal thought, physical appearance was considered a direct reflection of character

The ‘Khamsa’ (‘Quintet’) of Nava’i

Old manuscripts were often ‘refurbished’ in the Mughal workshops - this manuscript was one of the most valuable in the...

The ‘Padshahnama’ (‘Book of Emperors’) of Abd al-Hamid Lahori

The ‘Padshahnama’ (‘Book of Emperors’) is a chronicle commissioned by the fifth Mughal emperor Shah-Jahan

Mughal painting in the eighteenth century

The subject matter of imperial Mughal painting changed during the reign of Emperor Muhammad Shah