Mughal Painting

-  Prof Kavita Singh

This course studies the history of Mughal painting, from its roots in Persian painting and pre-Mughal painting in India, its origins in the court of Humayun, through its development under the ‘great Mughals,’ Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. While most surveys of Mughal painting stop at this point, this course tracks the later history of Mughal painting, both in the imperial center under the late Mughal emperors, and in the provinces such as Awadh and Murshidabad which became cultural centers that rivaled, and then outstripped, the Mughal court in the 18th c. The course considers the transmutation of Mughal courtly art into Company School and Bazaar painting, and ends with a consideration of the politics of contemporary miniature painting in India and Pakistan. Using new research, this course attempts to place paintings in their context of production, and their reception – in their own times and today.

General Books:

• Susan Stronge, Painting for the Mughal Emperor, The Art of the Book, 1560-1660 V&A London, 2002

• A course reader is available in the library.