As the Mughal Emperor employed historians to keep the record of their rule, they patronized artists, to paint their portraits, scenes of court, customs, rituals and celebrations.
Akbar established the studio for artists called the ‘Tasvir Khana’ between 1570-1585. The young artists were trained and master artists painted the portraits of nobles and rulers. They illustrated the manuscript.
In Mughal miniature, we find their dresses for men, long and short robes and coats including the chogha (clothing) and a long sleeved coat. A turban was worn on the head and patka (Belt)and adorned sash, was worn on the waist, style pants were worn. Different clothing types including: peshwaz, style robe and yalek robes. Women wore Salwar, Churidar , Dhilja, Garara and Farshi. The ladies in court, due to the Purdah fashion, in the early days of the empire adhered to traditional dress of Khurasan and Persia and wore multiple layers of clothing, with a tight fitting bodice that stopped short of the navel.
The peshwaz, fashionable as a men’s garment for a time and later adopted by the women. Cotton, silk, or wool were used as a fabric. Women beauty routines were arched symmetrically eyebrows, kajal applied to eyelids, the teeth were blackened with missi. Betel leaf was used to redden the lips, sweeten breath and as a deodorant. Jewellery was an integral part of the lifestyle, be it the king, men or women. Women were known to have as many as eight complete sets of jewelry.
Popular jewelry included two-inch wide armlets wore above the elbows, bracelets or pearls at the wrist stacked high enough to impede access to the pulse many rings (with the mirror ring worn on the right thumb customary for nearly inhabitants of the Zenana), metal bands or strings of pearls at the bottom of their legs, and ornaments hanging in the middle of the head in the shape of star, moon and flower.
Women also adorned a variety of head ornaments such as Binduli, Kotbiladar, Sekra, Siphul, Tikka and Jhumar. Akbar stuck to Iranian trends of the time by keeping a feather plume upright at the very front of the turban. Jahangir initiated his own softer style with the weighed down plume with a large pearl. Aurangzeb used to wear popular turban were usually heavily set with jewels and fixed firmly with gem set kalangi or aigrette furniture, symbols of emperor, processions ,armies, scene of battles, horses, elephants and social gathering.
These artists also painted portraits of Nur Jahan (Nur Jahan was the twentieth wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir) and Mumtaz Mahal. Otherwise women remained in the four walls of the palaces.
As we observe in this article that art is the great source of history and through it we understand the cultural life of the Mughal period.