Muraqqa': Imperial Mughal Albums From The Chester Beatty Library
Muraqqa': Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library
Throughout history, people have assembled albums that record their lives and the world around them. Among the most remarkable of all albums ever created are those made in the years 1600-1657 for the emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The Mughal dynasty ruled India for more than three centuries, but the period of greatest artistic production was that of these two great emperors, and the albums of paintings and calligraphy (called muraqqa' in Persian), that they assembled now serve as a window to understanding the history and culture of this important period of Indian history. The paintings in the albums include formal (often symbolic) portraits of the emperors themselves, depictions of members of the royal family in relaxed private settings, portraits of courtiers, Sufi saints and mystics, genre scenes, and natural history subjects.
This lavishly-illustrated, color catalogue, contains essays by Elaine Wright, Curator of the Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty Library, Wheeler Thackston, Lecturer, Harvard University, Susan Stronge, Curator Asia Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Steven Cohen, Textile Specialist, Independent Scholar and Author, London.
The exhibition premieres at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (May 3 - August 3, 2008)....