New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Enter the splendid world of Mughal India and explore its rich aesthetic and cultural heritage through new perspectives in “Reflections on Mughal Art and Culture” (Niyogi Books).
Recent studies in this area have offered a more in-depth analysis of established norms, explored Pan-Indian connections, and drawn comparisons to contemporary regions of the early modern world. Further studies in this direction were encouraged during a seminar at the KR Cama Oriental Institute in Mumbai and the formidable scholarship presented by the contributors constitutes the content of this volume, edited by Roda Ahluwalia, an independent specialist in southern art. -Asian, interested in painting and the book arts, religio-philosophical thought and material culture of South Asia.
The 13 essays by internationally renowned experts in the book explore varied topics under the Mughal umbrella, challenge long-held ideas, and draw comparisons between the artistic expressions and material culture of the powerful Islamic triumvirate of the early period. modern – the Safavids in Iran, the Ottomans based in Europe and the Mughals in the Indian subcontinent.
Themes as diverse as portraits of royal women, sub-imperial patronage of temples, the word-image relationship, lapidary arts, and the Imperial Mughal Library (at the British Library in London) are featured in the book. The murals painted on architectural surfaces, the textile culture of the city of Burhanpur, the changes in visual language and the content of the painting and the imperial art objects were discussed, challenged and analyzed.
The last three articles are revolutionary comparisons between the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal spheres. This beautifully illustrated book is sure to appeal to connoisseurs, collectors and scholars.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
A Native Mika essay focuses on Mahim Anaga, Akbar’s adoptive mother and advisor, and Hamida Banu, Akbar’s mother – and Humayun’s chief wife.
Lots of beautiful paintings, a chapter on important Mughal documents – showing their imperial seals (Ursula Sims-Williams), a chapter on Mughal jewelry and stone carving (Susan Stronge), Decorative Art Objects at the National Museum , Delhi (Anamika Pathak)
“Muslim kings, Hindu temples” by Catherine Asher. Many Hindu temples were built during the Mughal era – by Hindu courtiers. For example, there is the Adinath temple in Ranakpur, the temples of Chittor and the temples built by Raja Man Singh (Govinda Deva Temple in Vrindavan) and Jagat Shiroman in Amber.
Gulru Necipoglu compares the Ottomans in Turkey, the Safavids in Iran, and the Mughals in India – comparing tall buildings such as mosques and palaces designed to impress both locals and foreign travelers.
Roda Ahluwalia is currently a visiting scholar at Jnanapravaha, Mumbai, where she lectures on Mughal painting, Deccani and Pahari for the “Indian Aesthetics” program, and a member of the board of directors of the KR Cama Oriental Institute.
Previously, she taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and was responsible for the organization and tutoring of an adult education course entitled “1500 Years of Indian Painting” for the British Library. / Birkbeck University. She has been a guest speaker on several occasions for the Indian Art Circle, London.
She has worked with the collections of Rajput paintings and manuscripts in the British Museum and the British Library. Among his publications are a book entitled “Rajput Painting, Romantic, Divine and Courtly Art from India” (2008) and various articles on Indian painting. She was responsible for the historical art metadata of a volume of a 17th century illustrated Ramayana manuscript by Mewar, as part of a joint project between CSMVS (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya – formerly Prince of Wales Museum) , Mumbai and the British Library. She currently divides her time between Mumbai and London.
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