The Deccani painting, with Ahmednagar, Golkonda, Bijapur, and subsequently Hyderabad as its centres, evolved during the later half of the 16th century, almost contemporaneously to Mughal art. Most of the painters working at these courts were immigrants of Turkey, Iran and Europe, and had brought with them their art idioms and skills that their lands had acquired by then. Hence, in almost no time, Deccani art attained considerable maturity of form, subtle refinement and great merit on par with the Mughal painting. The volume of Islamic elements in Mughal and Deccani painting was almost similar but their chemistry was completely different. In Mughal art, these elements blend, dissolve and undergo a chemical transformation and acquire a new elemental status, while in the art of Deccan, they retain their identity, distinguishable from their Indian counterparts. It was a sort of physical compounding. Deccani art is like a combination of two sets of elements. The two sets do not so blend that from them is born a third.
This initial form which was more or less the Turkish or Persian idiom transplanted on Indian soil apart, what defined the Deccani painting to most minds was its subsequently evolved form that blended with the Islamic the elements of indigenous art traditions folk or otherwise, and the characteristic Deccani landscape with rich vibrant nature, which gave to Indian art some excellent miniatures. This Deccani art, with its highly charged compositions, fine line-work, great sense of geometry, pleasing perspectives, faces and eyes brimming with sensuality, well defined nature and landscape and intense colours, reveals a kind of moody romanticism, which even the Mughal paintings often lack.
The holy family, which generally depicts Shiva Parvati with both Ganesha and Kartikeya, has obvious absence of Ganesha in this painting. Shiva is holding Parvati and Kartikeya appears frightened of something and is trying to climb up to Nandi for protection. The Ganga falling from the jatta of Shiva is painted right in the center of the painting divided it into two halves. The tiger, vahan of Parvati is shown as a small figure behind the seated couple. The colours are strong and the green hillock is peculiar of late Deccan style.
A lady with shy expressions on her face stands holding the branch of the tree as a soldier approaches her with a feeling of admiration. The branch of the tree is as sensuous as her delicate body of the lady. The tree and the lady seem to merge in the same spirit. Very fine painting with intricate details in drapery leaves and border.
With both sides joined, the painting depicts the Rajasuya-yajna performed by Rama to become Chakravertin. On one side the blue-complexioned Rama is giving instructions to Lakshmana who was to conduct and guard the sacred horse of the yajna across different lands. The folio portrays splendidly saddled horse with royal umbrella over it. On Rama's side is seated sage Vashishtha and behind are Hanuman, Bharata and Shatrughna. On the reverse, led by a flag-bearer Rama's army begins it victory march. It uses Paithan technique of Gujarat.