Bhishma instructs Yudhishthira

This illustration comes from a dispersed manuscript of the Razmnama, a Persian translation of the great Hindu Mahabharata epic made during Akbar’s reign. It depicts Bhishma seated on a carpet in a landscape. Bhishma instructs Yudhishthira in the nature of the soul, or the recognition of the jivatman and the dharmatman. The work was probably commissioned by Akbar’s leading minister, Abd ur-Rahim Khankhanan, and executed by artists trained in the imperial studio. The Ashmolean has five other pages from this manuscript, and many others are in the British Museum.


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