In Mughal Painting, the author provides a detailed survey of the sixteenth-seventeenth century painting under the Mughal Emperors of India, and uses the renowned collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Habibganj Collection, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, to bring to fruition a book of both scholarship and beauty. Using diverse sources - Persian, Central Asian, European, and Indian - this work presents a rigorous yet stimulating account of Mughal painting. This study examines the role of the Mughal Emperors as connoisseurs of the art. SP Verma's thematic approach to the history of Mughal painting unfolds this valuable tradition. He offers a fresh treatment to the subject and highlights features that set the Mughal painting apart. His detailed account of the Mughal atelier, genre of sixteenth century narrative art, and the analyses of the influences of European Renaissance art on Mughal painting feature makes the book distinctive. Various branches of art alike historical portraits, self-portraits and paintings on natural history - rare records of cultural history, further constitute a valuable part of the study.
Additionally, Verma introduces "signature formuale", mode of establishing the validity of attribution of works to individual artists. This little volume, replete with details, may be considered a summation of a lifetime of scholarship dealing with all aspects of the Mughal painting. It showcases the Mughal patrons' and painters' concern for the both aesthetic appeal and the intellectual message.
Som Prakash Verma retired as Professor of History, Aligarh Muslim University (2004). As a practicing artist he has received awards from Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar (1981) and the Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta (1982).
List of Illustrations ; Preface ; List of Abbreviations ; Introduction: Painting, Patrons, and Painters Genesis of the Mughal Art ; 1. The Atelier ; 2. Art of Book-Illustration ; 3. Portraiture ; 4. Self-portraits ; 5. Pictures on Nature History ; 6. Border Decoration ; 7. Humanism in Mughal Art ; 8. Artists' Signatures ; 9. Originality of the Mughal School ; Appendix: Major Illustrated Manuscripts ; Glossary ; Bibliography ; Index