The Mughals were Muslim leaders descended from Genghis Khan who ruled over the Indian subcontinent from 1526 to 1857. In fact, the word “Mughal” means “descended from the Mongols.” At its peak, the Mughal Empire stretched from India to Afghanistan. The “Classical” Mughal period is associated with the rule of Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1605). During this time, the arts flourished and there was relative peace throughout the empire. Akbar the Great was supportive of grand architectural projects, and was particularly fond of European etchings brought to him by Christian missionaries. His son and successor, Jahangir, supported royal workshops where artists produced immaculate illuminated manuscripts and miniatures paintings.