From the Publisher
"...for readers interested in Indian culture, the volume offers a wealth of detail by way of broader context. ...Michell's survey of architecture is excellent for a volume this size. He has managed to serve up a sort of 'greatest hits' of all the large dynasties while including a generous sprinkling of detail shots." Religion and the Arts
"Magnificent illustrations, a useful bibliographic essay, 206-item bibliography, and nine-page index accompany the well-documented narrative. The rigorous scholarship of Mitchell (architect/art historian) and the late Zebrowski (art historian) results in an extremely valuable, compelling academic account of Deccan art history and architecture." Religious Studies Review
"...splendid and timely book..." Choice
In this scholarly desert, The Art and Architecture of the Deccan Sultanates in the New Cambridge History of India is a major landmark. It is also one of the most beautifully written works of Indian art history published for many years, combining rigorous scholarship with an aesthetic sensitivity and a feeling for language all to rare in modern academia. One of the authors, Mark Zebrowski, died shortly after finishing it. The power of his prose and the perception of his eye are amply demonstrated by the remarkable chapters he has contributed to this book. As scholars of this period are already discovering, his death has created a gap that will be very difficult to fill.
The Times Literary Supplement
Times Literary Supplement
Certainly, in the architecture of the Delhi sultanates, Hindu trabeate styles had long been present alongside the arch and dome of Islam; but only when Islam reached the Deccan did the two styles merge to form something genuinely new. On the tombs of Bidar and Gulbarga, the lotus and the other Hindu plant forms interweave to form restless and beguiling arabesques of completely original and composite designs. In Deccani painting, too, one finds portrayals of princes "whose noble gravitas", as Zebrowski puts it, "uphold the humanism of the Indian figural tradition especially apparent in the Gupta sculpture of one thousand years before". More remarkably still, for a nominally Islamic art, one finds "girls as voluptuous as the nudes of South Indian stone sculpture", and, as in so much Hindu art, "we sense the warm breezes, luxuries and languid pace of a tropical world".