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Folio of Babur Nama
Acc.NO. N.M.c.1598 CE/50.336
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This miniature painting has a classical touch, marked by a rich style and imagination. It reached its pinnacle during the Mughal period particularly at the time of Mughal emperors, Akbar, Jahangir and ShahJahan. Emperor Babur’s autobiographical notes, during the period of Akbar were not only translated into Persian Language but were also prepared into three illustrated copies. This Babur Nama manuscript at the National Museum with 145 illustrations is one of the three copies. The illustrations were painted by 48 excellent artists during the period in between 1598 to 1599 CE. This illustrated folio from Baburnama is part of that imperial copy prepared at the Mughal Court.

History of the Object
This painting depicts a scene from 14th of April 1529, when Babur marched through Bihar and crossed the river Saun using a bridge of boats. The artist Jaganath gives names to the prominent boats. The large boat built in Agra is named Asaish (repose), the one presented by Araish Khan is called Araish (ornament) and one called Gunjaish (capacious). Babur set up a platform to which he gave the name Farmiash (request). Babur narrates this inicident: "I left the ground by boat on Thursday. I had already ordered the boats to wait, and after getting on board, I had them fastened toghether abreast in line. Though all boats were not collected there, those that were greatly exceeded the breadth of the river. They could not move much and were rearranged due to the varying depth and current of water. A crocodile gharial appeared, a terrified fish leapt high and fell into a boat; it was caught and brought to me." Babur is sitting on the platform of Gunjaish surrounded by attendants. In the middle of the paintings is a boat onto which a fish has leapt. Two soldiers armed with muskets are firing at the corcodile. All the on-lookers are sharing the excitement which the incident has provided. Babur is sitting beneath a pavillion constructed on the largest boat. He is the highest figure in the painting, suggesting his staus as master of all the surveys.

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Type
Book 
Materials
Paper  
Measurements
26 x 17 cm 
Creator name
Jaganath  
Creator date
Unkonwn  
Where it was made
India 
Geography
India 
Time period
AD 16th century ~ AD 16th century 
Creation date
c. 1598 CE 
Function
Emperor Babur’s autobiographical notes, during the period of Akbar 
Acquisition
 
Copyright
National Museum, New Delhi  
Acknowledgements
National Museum, New Delhi  
Owner
National Museum, New Delhi 
Museum
National Museum-New Delhi 
Credit line
National Museum, New Delhi  

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