In Mughal Occidentalism, Mika Natif elucidates the meaningful and complex ways in which Mughal artists repurposed Christian and Renaissance visual idioms to embody themes from classical Persian literature and represent Mughal policy, ideology and dynastic history from the 1580s-1630s
In Mughal Occidentalism, Mika Natif elucidates the meaningful and complex ways in which Mughal artists engaged with European art and techniques from the 1580s-1630s. Using visual and textual sources, this book argues that artists repurposed Christian and Renaissance visual idioms to embody themes from classical Persian literature and represent Mughal policy, ideology and dynastic history. A reevaluation of illustrated manuscripts and album paintings incorporating landscape scenery, portraiture, and European objects demonstrates that the appropriation of European elements was highly motivated by Mughal concerns. This book aims to establish a better understanding of cross-cultural exchange from the Mughal perspective by emphasizing the agency of local artists active in the workshops of Emperors Akbar and Jahangir.
Table of contents:
Acknowledgments List of Illustrations Abbreviations and Conventions Introduction Brief Historical Background Defining Mughal Occidentalism Christian and European Elements in Islamic Art Organization of the Book Chapter One: Mughal Tolerance and the Encounters with Europe Religious Tolerance under Akbar and Jahangir Mughals and Europeans: The Encounters The Challenge of Primary Sources Diplomatic Gifts and Special Christian Articles The Mughal Elite and Pictures of Mary and Jesus Chapter Two: Mughal Masters and European Art: Tradition and Innovation at the Royal Workshops Copying and Innovation at the Imperial Workshops Repurposing the European Masters Chapter Three: European Articles in Mughal Painting European Prints in Mughal Albums Visualizing European Articles in Mughal Painting The Organ: Plato Making Music Chapter Four: Landscape Painting as Mughal Allegory: Micro-Architecture, Perspective and sulh-i kull The Mughal Interest in Topography Chronology of Change in Landscape Representation Images of Urbanism and Agriculture: Diversity and Prosperity The Virtuous City and the Circle of Justice European Techniques: Sfumato and Atmospheric Perspective Chapter Five: Concepts of Portraiture under Akbar and Jahangir Mughal Terminology and Praxis Form, Essence, and Physiognomy The Politics of Portraiture Epilogue Bibliography
Mika Natif Ph.D. (2006), New York University-IFA, is Assistant Professor in the Art History program, The George Washington University. A specialist in pre-Modern Islamic art, her publications addressed art book in the Persianate world and issues of image making.