Overview for Mughal Style: The Art and Architecture of Islamic India, Research by Mumtaz Currim
A Visual and intellectual treat awaits the reader of this book which ranges from monumental architecture, sumptuous textiles, a flood of the finest miniature paintings down to exquisitely crafted objects of jade -all marked by a common aesthetic coherence that is the hallmark of Mughal style. Analyzing the influences that constitute this style -the Central Asian inheritance, the artistic practices of Persia, and the incalculably rich tradition of India -the book also examines the various materials and techniques through which the Mughals gave expression to their artistic impulses, drawing on the finest pieces of Mughal art in public and private collections in India, Europe and the US. Representing a period of some three centuries, these woks have retained their unparalleled beauty and sophistication. A Major section identifies and illustrates the dominant themes of Mughal art -the all-pervading presence of geometry, whether in a mosque or a bejeweled mirror-back; the ingenious use of the arabesque to achieve patterns of dizzying complexity; the relatively austere but sublime effect of calligraphy on buildings or on manuscript pages; the preponderance of flowers in all manner of stone or cloth or metal ornamentation; and the frequent appearance of animals and birds to signify the omnipresence of nature. These themes are illustrated by brilliant photographs whose effect is further heightened by a succession of dazzling gatefolds. A historical context aids in the understanding of the Mughal decorative arts, best described as an embarrassment of riches.
George Michell (Author)
George Michell obtained his PhD in the field of early western Chalukya temple architecture from the School of Oriental African Studies, University of London, in 1974. From 1974 to 1977, he directed courses on Asian architecture at the Architectural Association, London, and was the co-editor of Art and Archaeology Research Papers from 1972 to 1982. Since the 1980s, he has co-directed an international team of scholars and students at Vijayanagara, the medieval Hindu site in Karnataka. George Michell has also lectured at universities and museums throughout the USA, Europe, India and Australia. Among his many Publications are The Royal Palaces of India, Islamic Heritage of the Deccan, Architecture of the Islamic World: Its History and Social Meaning and Hindu Art and Architecture.