Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857

Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1707-1857

by William Dalrymple
     
 

Between the years 1707 and 1857, the cultural center of Delhi in North India was the locus of a dramatic shift of power with the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rise of the British Raj. This critical transitional period altered Indian culture, politics, and art, and brought unprecedented artistic innovation and experimentation. The artistic flowering of this

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Overview

Between the years 1707 and 1857, the cultural center of Delhi in North India was the locus of a dramatic shift of power with the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rise of the British Raj. This critical transitional period altered Indian culture, politics, and art, and brought unprecedented artistic innovation and experimentation. The artistic flowering of this time is evident in jewel-like portraits, miniature paintings, striking panoramas, and exquisite decorative arts crafted for Mughal emperors and European residents alike.

Sumptuous color illustrations of such works illuminate the pages of this book, painting a vivid portrait of this important city and its art, artists, and patrons. Masterworks by major Mughal artists, such as Nidha Mal and Ghulam Ali Khan, and works by non-Mughal artists demonstrate the dynamic interplay of artistic production at this time. This largely overlooked period is explored in thought-provoking essays by a panel of distinguished scholars of Indian art, history, and literature to present an engaging look at this dynamic artistic culture in the midst of rapid change.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Dalrymple (The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty; Delhi, 1857) and South Asian art scholar Sharma highlight the magnificent art produced during the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rise of British rule in India in this catalog for a recent exhibition at the Asia Society Museum in New York. The introduction puts the period into historical context and is richly illustrated with colorful drawings, sketches, and watercolors that depict Delhi as the cultural center and crown of the then-dominant Mughal Empire. Six well-researched and well-documented essays shed light on a vast array of rulers and notable personalities during this tumultuous period of invasions, attacks, and cultural and political degradation. The catalog focuses on 96 objects of delicate and serene beauty, including miniature portraits, landscapes, and depictions of Mughal court life created primarily in glorious opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper. VERDICT This exemplary work is a perfect place to begin an exploration of this lost world and culture. Recommended for individual enthusiasts and all collections focusing on Asian culture and decorative arts.—Stephen Allan Patrick, Jonesborough, TN

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300176667
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/20/2012
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

William Dalrymple is an award-winning writer, historian, and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival. Yuthika Sharma received a PhD in South Asian art and architecture from Columbia University and a doctorate in design from Harvard University.

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