Source Analysis: Bhima Drinking The Blood Of Dushasana

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Source Analysis: Mughal-Era Painting

Works of art from the Mughal period provide a first-hand account of what life was like back then. These masterpieces are important because they come directly from the Mughal time period, providing insight into how painters during the Mughal era thought. These paintings can provide political views, they can enhance our understanding of values and beliefs back then, and they can tell a story. The painting I will be analyzing is Bhima drinking the blood of Dushasana, taken from a page from the “Razm Nama” and painted by Abul Fazl. From a glance, the painting seems to depict a battle scene with two figures who look of nobility in the dead center of the painting which is the most prominent feature of the
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“Razm Nama” is the Persian translation of the Mahabharata. It was on the seventeenth day of the war that this battle took place. The war was the result of a dynastic succession struggle between the two groups of cousins, the Pandavans and the Kaudavans. Bhima led the Pandavan army and Dushasana was the second son of one hundred sons of the blind king of the Kaudavas, Dhritarashtra. Bhima is responsible for killing all one hundred Kaudavan sons. The Kurukshetra War is believed to be dated back to 3102 BCE. Therefore, this painting is a rendition by Abul Fazl of the epic battle between Bhima and Dushasana as described in the Mahabharata. The portrait is painted on what seems to be very durable paper and is painted with watercolor. The artwork is painted with great detail and there is a lot going on in the picture. There are even two parts of the painting that seem to have been inserted which are not directly connected to the painting itself for the purpose of being able to add to the painting more of what was going on in the battle scene that could not have fit on the page otherwise. The two separate pieces have a border around them that leads me to believe that they are not directly connected to the painting. Also, it is fairly evident. The separate piece near the top of the painting with the man pulling back his arrow has trees growing around it. The trees on all sides of the separate piece are all bent around the border surrounding the isolated piece which makes it seem like the two disjointed pieces of the portrait were intentional. Much of the clothing of the people in the painting and the mantles of the horses seem to be of a warm color. I notice this trend in many other pieces of Indian artwork as well. It seems to me that

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