The relationship between art and the social, cultural, and political Institutions that sustain it is an interesting one, probing this relationship provides insights into the life and times of patrons and artists of any period in history. It illumines the values and concerns that shaped attitudes to creative activity at the time. In this beautifully designed book Verma uses a thematic approach to the history of Mughal painting, to provide an accessible unfolding of this valuable tradition.
Painting the Mughal Experience uses rare paintings from galleries across the world and draws on diverse textual sources to delve into the social history of dominant themes, motifs, and styles. The author provides a vivid account of the Mughal atelier and of the work of individual artists. In a comprehensive introduction he highlights the fresh treatment, in this style of painting, of real life situations - a feature that sets Mughal painting apart. Tracing the various influences on this magnificent genre of sixteenth-century narrative art, Verma also touches upon parallel artistic traditions.
Postraiture, the depiction of nature, and the illustration of margins in manuscripts - considered significant facets of Mughal painting - are looked at closely. Technical skills, motifs, and the symbolism so characteristic of this period are also discussed extensively. This volume also analyses the influence of European Renaissance art on Mughal Painting.
Enriched by the historian's craft this book is significant for the wide appeal it commands - it will not only interest serious scholars of Mughal history and cultural studies, but also art historians, connoisseurs of art, and those interested in the development of painting in South Asia.
About the Author :
Som Prakash Verma taught at the Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University. He is also a practicing artist and a recipient of two awards from the Indian Academy of Fine Arts.
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