A few weeks ago the surprise of hybrid paintings had already stung me when I saw a\u00a0 Hindu manuscript with illuminated paintings scripted in Gurmukhi.\n\n1358 Set of 10 Bhagvat Gita Folios with Gurmukhi Script\n\n(Link to Gallery Store)\n\nMy use of the word \u201chybrid\u201d which means born of two unique & different elements is not entirely correct since at the time of their birth, these paintings were from a single culture. It is only from my vantage point today \u2013 dozens of decades later\u00a0 that the two elements of script\u00a0 & content belong to separated cultures.\nBut this error was a useful one as it alerted me to the idea that in some cases, tracing back the history of 2 divergent cultures along the cone of time brings us to a common starting point.\nAnother example is a pair of painted folios\u00a0 that also have \u2018hybrid\u2019 character \u2013 only this time the script is Urdu.\u00a0 The\u00a0 figures do not look muslim but the script was Urdu. I\u2019ve wondered about these for the 10-15 years I have these but neglected to find out more.\nMy recent exploration into Sikh / Hindu manuscript 1358 reminded me of this similar hybrid and I took it out again to pay the attention that was overdue.\n\n297 Antique Indian Miniature Painting\n\nTo solve the mystery I got help from a friend to read it and he translated the bits that he could read.\nThe signed text is written in a poetic meter and mentions Din-i-Ilahi specifically and goes on to elaborate on the punishment to be meted out to a criminal.\nNow Din-i Ilahi is the religion which was propounded by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1582 AD and the elements were drawn from Islam and Hinduism primarily and also Christianity, Jainism,and Zoroastrianism with an intention to reconcile the differences that divided his subjects.\nSo that explained the presence of non-muslim characters in a muslim script or muslim script in a narration with non-muslim characters.\nAkbar. Planning Integration \u2013 not by bridging the divide between two religions but instead by creating a third religion. Clearly\u00a0 a very ambitious king who not only dreamt of the impossible but also evolved the idea to maturity and implemented it. Unity in Plurality.\nBut the world was not ready for it then.\nWill the theistic world ever be ready to unite?\nUntil we find the answer we can at least examine remnants of\u00a0 historical examples through 297 The Din-i-ilahi Folios or\u00a0 1358 Set of Gurmukhi Bhagavat Gita Folios and learn from the mistakes that led to disintegration.\nThat way, we can avoid those mistakes and make our very own fresh ones!\n***\n\nThe post Hybrid Manuscript Paintings appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.