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Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology: Collected Essays

Ebba Koch (Author)
Synopsis Over the last twenty years, Ebba Koch has researched and analysed the transmission of artistic ideas over space and time and their significance. An internationally acknowledged expert on Mughal architecture, her effort has always been to use art history's own methods as a basis for her investigations. Her work is thus characterized by a thorough analysis of the form of the artwork, which is then evaluated against information from written sources. The eleven studies in this book offer a fresh and unique interpretation of Mughal art and architecture and its heterogeneous sources-Central Asian Timurid, Indian, Persian, and European- fused creatively to express an imperial ideology of universal aspirations. The author shows that for Mughal patrons and artists the formal concern was not I'art pour l'art but the appeal to the senses conveyed an ambitious intellectual and political message. This is particularly true for the art and architecture created by Shah Jahan. The palaces and their decoration at Agra, Delhi, and Lahore, the imperial gardens, the urban designs, and the famous masterpieces of the Emperor's patronage, the Taj Mahal, and the Windsor Castle Padshahnama all emerge, from the discussion in a new light, as careful constructions of form and meaning. The volume, illustrated by 235 black and white illustrations, including newly measured drawings of Mughal buildings, will be an indispensable source for anyone interested in the Mughals. The book will interest not just scholars and students of art and architectural history but also students of general history, sociology, culture, literature, and religion.
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About the author

Ebba Koch

Ebba Koch taught at the universities of Vienna, Oxford and Harvard; she specializes in the architecture, art and court culture of the Great Mughals of South Asia and their artistic connections to Central Asia, Iran and Europe. Her books include The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra (2006-2012) and Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology (2001). Ali Anooshahr is a Professor of History at the University of California, Davis. He is a scholar of 'comparative Islamic empires' with a focus on historiography, history of memory, and cultural history of Persianate societies in the early modern period. He is the author of two books: The Ghazi Sultans and the Frontiers of Islam (2009) and Turkestan and the Rise of Eurasian Empires (2018), and articles published in Iranian Studies, Indian Economic and Social History Review, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, Journal of Early Modern History and Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient.

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Bibliographic information

Title Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology: Collected Essays
Author Ebba Koch
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195648218
length xxvii+317p., Figures; Tables; Plates; Maps; Abbreviations; Appendices; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 29cm.