Abd al-Samad

1500 - 1593

'Abd al-Samad or Khwaja Abdus Samad was a 16th-century painter of Persian miniatures who moved to India and became one of the founding masters of the Mughal miniature tradition, and later the holder of a number of senior administrative roles. Samad's career under the Mughals, from about 1550 to 1595, is relatively well documented, and a number of paintings are attributed to him from this period. From about 1572 he headed the imperial workshop of the Emperor Akbar and "it was under his guidance that Mughal style came to maturity". It has recently been contended by a leading specialist, Barbara Brend, that Samad is the same person as Mirza Ali, a Persian artist whose documented career seems to end at the same time as Abd al-Samad appears working for the Mughals.
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