India's artistic traditions are ancient and deeply rooted in religion. Indian art draws great inspiration from religion and it conduces to fulfilling the ultimate aim of life, moksha or release from the cycle of birth and death. In earlier times the Indian artists visualised and continue to visualise the qualities of various gods and goddesses as mentioned in their scriptures and infuse these qualities into their images.
Under Shah Jahan the Mughal painting maintained its fine quality. But the style, however, became finer in every which way during the later period of his rule. Portraiture was given considerable attention by his painters. Apart from portraiture, other paintings showing groups of ascetics and mystics and a number of illustrated manuscripts were also executed during his period. Some noteworthy examples of such manuscripts are the Gulistan and the Bustan of Sadi, copied for the emperor in the first and second years of his reign and the Shah Jahan Nama 1657, at Windsor Castle. A miniature in the collection of the National Museum depicts a gathering of Sufis who are seen seated in an open space and engaged in discussion. It displays supple naturalism of the Mughal style of the Shah Jahan period. The drawing is refined and the colours have subdued tones. The background is green and the sky is in golden colour. The borders show floral designs in golden colour. The miniature is assigned to circa 1650 A.D.
This category features an eclectic mix of various deities such as Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma amongst others showcasing the finest craftsmanship in the art form.