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Thursday, November 19, 2015
7:00 p.m.
Museum Lecture Hall, Getty Center
Mughal painting is said to have begun in the middle of the 16th century as an offshoot of Persian painting. However, within the short span of a few decades, the medium was transformed through contact with European Renaissance art. Absorbing stylistic elements of naturalism, sfumato, chiaroscuro, and perspective, Mughal artists began to produce accurate portraits and to reproduce architecture and nature in delicate detail in their renderings of Persian poetry and court life.

Most accounts of Mughal painting trace a straightforward "evolutionary" path, with Mughal artists abandoning the Persianate style in favor of a Europeanate one. In this lecture, however, Kavita Singh suggests that Mughal painting did not follow a single arc of stylistic evolution. Instead, it underwent repeated cycles of adoption, rejection, and revival of Persian and European styles.

Kavita Singh is professor of art history at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Among Singh's publications is her 2015 book, No Touching, No Spitting, No Praying: The Museum in South Asia, coedited with UCLA professor Saloni Mathur.

This lecture and the accompanying publication (forthcoming in fall 2016) are sponsored by the Getty Research Institute Council.