What is the course about?
This one-day course takes an in-depth look at the formation of the Mughal atelier between 1520 and 1658 under the dynamic patronage of Emperors Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Drawing on the one hand upon the Persianate Timurid and Safavid schools of the 15th and early 16th centuries, and on the other on Western Indian traditions in Hindu and Jain temple painting, early Mughal painting also assimilated contemporary European influences to produce an innovative and eclectic approach to painting in illustrated manuscripts and albums.
We will look at some of the key works in this oeuvre, and explore how the personality and interests of each patron made their mark on their output. We will consider the work of individual artists and their role in projecting the aspirations of their patrons, and the organization of the imperial workshops in which they worked.
We will cover the early formation and evolution of the Mughal School, the eclectic influences that went into its creation, and the different styles that evolved under the patronage of the early Mughal Emperors. We will look at the role of the artists and their working environment in the Mughal courts, focusing on how they were recruited and trained, and examine the work of some of the key painters.
What will we cover?
• How the personalities and aspirations of the royal patrons drove the development of the Early Mughal School.
• The influences that fed into the formation and evolution of the Mughal School.
• The working lives of the painters who worked in the imperial Mughal ateliers.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Discuss the impact of two royal Mughal patrons and the output of their patronage.
- Describe three paintings or manuscripts and trace the influences that can be traced in them.
- Identify the styles of painting that developed under two different rulers.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Part of this session will be taught onsite with slide presentations and group discussions. The last part of the day will be a guided gallery visit, with group discussion and short group activities. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course.
Please note we are unable to guarantee stools in the rooms that we visit so you might have to stand and to walk between objects.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.
Gallery entry is free.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
VB637 - The Arts of the Book in the Islamic World
VB635 - Focus on: Mughal court fashion in the 16th and 17th centuries.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details