Miniature portraits of Mughal emperors

Theguardian_ Artist Amjad Ali Talpur trained at Pakistan’s National College of Arts in Lahore in miniature painting, the traditional technique popularised during the time of the Mughal empire. “My teacher was taught by a teacher who was taught by Ustad Haji Mohammad Sharif, who was a court painter, so I’m part of a direct line to the period.” To create his 13cm x 15cm (5in x 6in) portraits of Mughal emperors, Talpur works on handmade paper and makes his own brushes and colours, as is tradition, but he’s added a unique element: his paintings resemble sliding puzzles. “The playfulness of my work means that the viewer is trying to solve a puzzle in their mind while looking at it. I distort the image so the viewer becomes engrossed in my painting.” The link to the Mughal empire is also important for Talpur: “People die, but their thoughts and ideas live on in different forms.”