Mughal India: Introduction to the Practice of Art History|
Fall 2017 not offered
|Certificates: Muslim Studies, South Asia Studies|
Founded in northern India in the early 1500s, the Mughal empire was one of the largest centralized states in the history of the premodern world. During the two centuries of their effective rule over most of the Indian subcontinent, the Mughal emperors and their subordinates were prolific patrons of the arts, overseeing the production of lavishly illustrated books and picture albums and commissioning such architectural masterpieces as the Taj Mahal. This course offers an introduction not only to the art and culture of Mughal India but also to the practice of art history itself, through a sequence of six thematic units exploring and applying different methods that are central to the discipline. Each unit begins with critical reading and discussion of one or two key theoretical or methodological statements, then continues through application to case studies drawn from Mughal India. The units include (1) techniques of visual description and formal analysis, (2) the concept of style and stylistic analysis, (3) the analysis of meaning in visual images (iconography and iconology), (4) models of time and the historical explanation of change, (5) architectural and historical analysis of buildings and their sites, and (6) historiographic assessment of debates and changing interpretations within art history. Each unit culminates in a writing exercise designed to provide students with structured experience in some of the various modes of art historical writing. The course is appropriate as an introduction both to art history and to Mughal art.
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|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA-MN)(ARHA)(ARST)(GSAS-MN)(GSAS)(MUST-MN)(SAST-MN)
George Kubler, The Shape of Time ISBN 0300001444
John F. Richards, The Mughal Empire ISBN 0521566037
Sylvan Barnet, "A Short Guide to Writing About Art," 10th edition ISBN 0205708250
and the following excerpts and articles, available on Moodle:
Michael Baxandall, Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures (excerpts).
Erwin Panofsky, Studies in Iconology (excerpts)
Heinrich Wolfflin, Principles of Art History (excerpts)
George Kubler, "Towards a Reductive Theory of Visual Style" (article)
Paul Frankl, Principles of Architectural History (excerpts)
Oleg Grabar, "The Iconography of Islamic Architecture" (article)
Eugene Kleinbauer, Modern Perspectives in Art History (excerpts)
Keith Jenkins, Re-thinking History (excerpts)
Readings on Mughal India:
John Seyller, "The Inspection and Valuation of Manuscripts in the Imperial Mughal Library" (article)
Milo Beach, The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court (excerpts)
Milo Beach, The Grand Mogul: Imperial Painting in India, 1600-1660 (excerpts)
B.N. Goswamy, "Essence and appearance: some notes on Indian portraiture," (article)
Richard Ettinghausen, "The Emperor's Choice" (article)
Catherine B. Asher, "A Ray from the Sun: Mughal Ideology and the Visual Construction of the Divine" (article)
Ebba Koch, Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology: Collected Essays, (excerpts)
Wayne Begley, "The Myth of the Taj Mahal and a New Theory of its Symbolic Meaning", Art Bulletin LXI/1 (March 1979): 7-37.
Percy Brown, Indian Architecture--vol. 2: Islamic Period. (excerpts)
Laura E. Parodi, "The Bibi-ka Maqbara in Aurangabad: A Landmark of Mughal Power in the Deccan?" (article)
Tim Edensor, Tourists at the Taj: Performance and Meaning at a Symbolic Site (excerpts)
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Four two-page papers, one five-page paper, one seven-page paper; two quizzes.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course counts toward the South Asian Studies Certificate as a historical inquiry course.
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