Finch, Poppies, Dragonfly, and Bee, Deccan, c. 1650-1670, opaque watercolor and gold on paper, Brooklyn Museum.

Deccani painting is a Deccan form of miniature painting, evolved in south-western India—(also known as Deccan), during the inception of Bahmani Sultanate in 1347 CE. The style developed under the patronage of Deccan sultanates—( namely, Bijapur, Golkonda, Ahmadnagar, Bidar, and Berar ) and lasted until the extinction of the Qutb Shahi dynasty in 1687 CE.[1][2][3]


Visit of sufi-singer Shir Muhammad to Abul Hasan Qutb Shah, ca. 1720, Bibliothèque nationale de France.

While Mughal painting was developing under Akbar, in the second half of the 16th century, the art form was evolving independently in the Deccan sultanates. The miniature painting style, which flourished initially in the Bahmani court of Bahmani Sultanate and later in the courts of Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Bidar, Berar and Golkonda is popularly known as the Deccan school of Painting.

One of the earliest surviving paintings are found as the illustrations of a manuscript Tarif-i-Hussain Shahi (1565 CE), which is now in Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal, Pune. About 400 miniature paintings are found in the manuscript of Nujum-ul-Ulum (Stars of Science) (1570 CE), kept in Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.[5]


The style of Deccani painting flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries, Passing through multiple phases of sudden maturation and prolonged stagnation, later in the 18th and 19th centuries after the Mughal conquest of Deccan the style gradually withered away and new form of Hyderabad style painting evolved in the Deccan region particularly in the Nizam territory. Most of the colouring of Deccani paintings are Islamic Turkish and Persian tradition specially the arabesques, but those are surmounted by a pure Deccani piece of foliage.

Other ReadsEdit


  1. ^ Kanjilal, Kajal (1983). History of Indian Art. Saraswati House Pvt Ltd. pp. 58–59. ISBN 9789351991182. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  2. ^ Chaitanya, Krishna (1976). A History of Indian Painting: The modern period. Abhinav Publications. p. 31. ISBN 9788170173106. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  3. ^ Zebrowski, Mark (1983). Deccani Painting. Sotheby Publications. ISBN 9780520048782.
  4. ^ "Nauras: The Many Arts of the Deccan". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  5. ^ Sardar, Marika. "Islamic Art of the Deccan". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2019-02-03.