Book of Wars (Razm-nâma)
Translating and illustrating the Mahabharata at the Mughal Court
The great Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) initiated an ambitious translation project, from Sanskrit into Persian, on Hindu great founding texts - at the forefront of which were the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.
The Book of Wars (Razm-nâma) is the shortened Persian version of the Mahabharata, endorsed in 1582 by Emperor Akbar. Four Mughal versions of this book were sumptuously illustrated by greatest painters of the imperial workshop, between the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th, testifying to the prestige of the great Epic.
Amina Taha Hussein-Okada is General Curator at Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet (Paris), in charge of Indian art collection. She is the author of numerous works and exhibition catalogues dedicated to Indian art and civilization, including the Ramayana by Valmiki illustrated by Indian miniatures from the 16th to the 19th century (7 volumes) and the Bhagavadgita illustrated by Indian painting (Diane de Selliers publishing).