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The Mughal art of the book

Mughal books were all written by hand (known as ‘manuscripts’). The finest examples were illuminated, illustrated with exquisite paintings and protected by leather bindings and silk covers. Their creation was a collaborative effort which involved calligraphers, artists and craftsman.

The majority of Mughal books were written in Persianwhich is read from right to left. Persian was the social, cultural and intellectual language of the Mughal court.A rich and expressive language, it is celebrated for its long tradition of moralising, romantic and mystical poetry.

Nur al-Din 'Abd al-Rahman Jami

Tuhfat al-ahrar.

Sa'di, of Shiraz (1184-1283-91)


Hafiz of Shiraz

Divan-i Hafiz.

Ustad Mansur (active c. 1600-20)

A chameleon