Akbar's Expedition by Boat to the Eastern Provinces
Page from a dispersed manuscript of the Akbarnama (Book of Akbar)
Artist/maker unknown, Indian or Pakistani
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Akbar, the third Mughal emperor (ruled 1556-1605) consolidated and greatly expanded his grandfather Babur's conquests. This painting shows Akbar in 1574, traveling with his men on one of his many campaigns. Dressed in white and with clearly identifiable features and dark skin, Akbar sits and gives orders in the center of the second boat from the bottom. Abul Fazl, the author of Akbar's court chronicle, the Akbarnama, described the barges made for this expedition as veritable floating palaces with spaces for all the court functions. Under Akbar's generous patronage, the imperial painting workshop fused Persian, indigenous Indian, and European artistic ideas to create a distinctive Mughal aesthetic.