Deccan Painting (1560-1800 AD)

  • Early centres were Ahmednagar, Bijapur & Golconda.


  • Patronized by Nizam Shahi rulers. The earliest examples of the Ahmednagar painting are contained in a volume of poems written in praise of Hussain Nizam Shah I of Ahmednagar (1553-1565) and his queen. This manuscript is known as the ‘Tarif-in-Hussain Shahi.
  • Other highlights of Ahmednagar painting are “Hindola Raga” of about 1590 AD and portraits of Burhan Nizam Shah II of Ahmednagar (1591-96 AD) and of Malik Amber of about 1605 AD.


  • Patronized by Adil Shahi rulers mainly Ali Adil Shah I (1558-80 AD) and his successor Ibrahim II (1580-1627 AD).
  • An encyclopaedia known as the Najum-al-ulum (Stars of Sciences), was illustrated in 1570 AD in the reign of Ali Adil Shah I.
  • This manuscript contains 876 miniatures. There is influence of the Lepakshi mural painting on the female types.


  • Patronized by Qutub Shahi rulers. The earliest paintings identified as Golconda work are a group of five charming paintings of about 1590 AD, painted in the period of Muhammad Quli Quta Shah (1580-1611) Golconda.
  • They show dancing girls entertaining the company.
  • Other outstanding example of the Golconda painting are Lady with the Myna bird, about 1605 AD, an illustrated manuscript of a Sufi poem (1605-15 AD) in the British Museum, London and a couple of portraits showing a poet in a garden and an elegantly dressed young man seated on a golden stool and reading a book, both signed by a certain artist Muhammad Ali in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
image 375

Fig: Lady with Myna Bird


  • Painting in Hyderabad started with the foundation of the Asaf Jahi dynasty by Mir Qamruddin Khan (Chin Qulick Khan) Nizam-ul-Mulk in 1724 AD.
  • Influence of the Mughal style of painting on the already existing early styles of Deccani paintings, introduced by several Mughal painters who migrated to the Deccan during the period of Aurangzeb and sought patronage there.
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