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VA-2001/ HIS-3806-1 – Visual Culture of Indian Paintings: Courtly Traditions

Course Description: This course offers a critical survey of miniature paintings made for Mughal, Rajput and Decani courts from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries in India. It will focus on this period but also look at the sources of these traditions within Persian and Indian schools of paintings on the one hand, and their production beyond the eighteenth century into the present on the other, as contemporary miniatures made in India and Pakistan. The course will open ways of entering the intensely visual fields of these paintings for students.  It will map the field by exploring schools, workshops and ateliers and offer an understanding of style as a dynamic tool, both for artists and patrons.  Following this, the course will focus on themes both as subject matter of the paintings, and for understanding the affective, cultural and political value of these works. Themes will include the relationship of texts and paintings, representation of music, devotion, and courtly etiquette

Learning Outcomes 

Upon completing this course students will be able to: 

  • identify major schools of miniature paintings that flourished in the subcontinent, 
  • appreciate intensely cosmopolitanism cultures in pre -modern India through visual traditions. 
  • assess ways in which these traditions have been re-calibrated in contemporary contexts by artists from India and Pakistan. 

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka