Spring 2014

Image of Empire: Art and Architecture of Mughal India, 1526-1858

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-268  |  Asian Languages and Civilizations, as ASLC-268


Yael R. Rice (Section 01)


Founded in 1526 by a Muslim prince from Central Asia, the Mughal dynasty dominated the political landscape of South Asia (including present-day India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh) until the middle of the nineteenth century. The influence of the Mughal Empire also extended well beyond South Asia, making it one of the most important states in the premodern global arena. This course will examine the great range of art and architecture produced for the Mughal emperors and members of their court, placing special emphasis on how these materials (and their makers) helped create a powerful, multifaceted image of empire. We will explore lavishly illustrated manuscripts and monumental architecture, including the justly famous Taj Mahal, but also expand our purview to consider less studied objects such as carved jade vessels, inscribed gems, inlaid metalwork, and textiles. We will pay particular attention to Mughal encounters with the arts of India's Hindu kings, the Safavid Empire, the Jesuit missionaries, the royal courts of Europe, and the British East India Company. Films and field-trips to local museum collections will supplement assigned readings and lectures. Participation in class discussion, a significant component of the course, is expected. No previous background is presumed, and all readings will be available in English.

Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Prof. Rice.

ARHA 268 - L/D

Section 01
M 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM FAYE 117
W 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM FAYE 117


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2014, Fall 2016