The Observed and the Envisioned 16th- to 19th- Century Indian Miniature Paintings of Mughal and Rajput Women

The Observed and the Envisioned
16th- to 19th- Century Indian Miniature Paintings of Mughal and Rajput Women
Mar 9 - Jun 19, 2005
Installation view, The Observed and the Envisioned: 16th- to 19th- Century Indian Miniature Paintings of Mughal and Rajput Women, 2005.

This fascinating exhibition of 16th- through 19th-century Indian miniature paintings explored the realistic, earthly depictions of women in Mughal (Muslim) art with the more idealized, ‘other-worldly’ qualities of Rajput (Hindu) works.

From the early 16th century through the mid 19th century, the Mughals, an Islamic dynasty with Central Asian origins, ruled most of northern India. However, some regions of the northwestern part of the subcontinent remained under the control of the native Hindu Rajput kings. Miniature painting reached its pinnacle during this era and was shaped to some extent by each court’s religious affiliation. During this exciting period in the history of India, the stylistic and ideological depictions of women and their identities is a compelling study in contrasting viewpoints.

Funded by the Kathryn Wasserman Davis ’28 Fund for World Cultures and Leadership, the E. Franklin Robbins Art Fund, Wellesley College Friends of Art, and the Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events.

Afshan Bokhari
Former Adjunct Curator and Art Department Visiting Lecturer

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