The Mughals, like in all other fields, made distinctive contribution in the field of painting. They introduced new themes depicting the court, battle scenes and the chase, and added new colors and new forms. Mughals also introduced in India the concept of miniature painting. Overall, Indiaís old tradition of painting was given a new life.
Although different rulers extended their patronage to paintings, but it was during the reign of Akbar that vigorous revival began. Under Akbarís rule, many Hindu and Muslim painters were brought together, and a school of painting was established. The School developed rapidly, and soon became a celebrated center of production. Painters were assigned the tasks of illustrating many Persian and Indian manuscripts and books.
The Indian influences were gradually brought into the style of paintings and the colors used. There was also introduction of European paintings in the courts, by the Portuguese priests in this period.
The Mughal style of painting mainly depicted hunting, battle and court scenes. Under Jahangirís reign, portrait painting and paintings of animals were greatly encouraged. Under the European influence, the principle of foreshortening, whereby near and distant people and things could be placed in perspective, was adopted.
The tradition of paintings continued till the reign of later emperors like Shah Jahan, but it showed a decline under
Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb didnot encourage any artform and the artists left for different parts of the country and this helped in the development of new school of paintings in the states of Rajasthan and Punjab.