A Magic World: New Visions of Indian Painting

edited by Molly Emma Aitken, Marg, 2016, 132 p, 130 plates, ISBN : 9789383243150, $85.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

A Magic World: New Visions of Indian Painting

Contents: 1. Introduction/Molly Emma Aitken. 2. Giant Butterfly, Tiny Tree: Leaps of Scale in Deccani Painting/Navina Najat Haidar. 3. Congress of Kings: Notes on a Painting of Muhammad Shah Rangeela Having Sex/Kavita Singh. 4. Portraits of 'A Noble Queen': Chand Bibi in the Historical Imaginary/Deborah Hutton. 5. A Tale of Two Mediums: Paint and Photography in Udaipur/Deepali Dewan. 6. Jagvilasa: Picturing Worlds of Pleasure and Power in 18th-Century Udaipur Painting/Dipti Khera. 7. Cosmic Sympathies and Painting at Akbar’s Court/Yael Rice. 8. Holi in the Zenana: Genre, Style and Sociability/Debra Diamond. 9. Artistic Agency in Painted Narratives: The Case of the Chandayan Manuscripts/Qamar Adamjee. Index.

In the 100 years since Ananda Coomaraswamy wrote his seminal Rajput Painting, the field of Indian painting studies has gone from a period of explosive discovery to a deepening of knowledge about individual artists and workshops. More recently, scholars have also begun to probe artists’ and patrons’ creative decisions and have entered into extensive conversation with South Asian cultural studies in general. They reconsider Coomaraswamy’s distinction between 'Rajput' and Mughal painting and focus more on the connections between these two worlds, analyzing the complex meanings these paintings might have held for their artists, patrons and viewers.

This celebratory volume probes the cultural preoccupations of 16th- to early 20th-century Rajput, Mughal and Deccan India and provides delightful new insights into the magic world of Indian painting.

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