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India: Art and Culture, 1300-1900

India: Art and Culture, 1300–1900

Welch, Stuart Cary
478 pages
383 illustrations
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India: Art and Culture 1300–1900 is a tribute to the rich and varied culture of India as represented in the later art of the subcontinent, dating from the fourteenth through the nineteenth century. Comprehensive in its conceptual framework, this presentation of three hundred thirty-three works brings together masterpieces of the sacred and court traditions and embraces as well the urban, folk, and tribal heritage.

This volume, which is divided into five sections, opens with the bronze sculptures, ritual objects, and temple hangings of the classical Hindu tradition of the south. The vivid and lively art of rural India, which provides an aesthetic continuum that extends throughout these six centuries, is presented in the second section, Tribe and Village. This is followed by the highly refined and sophisticated art of the Muslim courts, which reached its greatest flowering in the exquisite illustrated manuscripts executed under the patronage of the Mughal emperors. In addition, the imperial ateliers of the Mughals produced works of technical brilliance in a wide array of decorative arts. Political alliances between the Mughals and the Hindu nobility in the north led to a fusion of Islamic and Hindu traditions that is explored in the bold, vigorous miniatures and dazzling weaponry of the Rajput world. And the art of the nineteenth century, produced under the Raj as Indian artists began to assimilate Western perspectives, is documented in the last section, the British Period.

Stuart Cary Welch's pioneering scholarship in the field of Indian painting and the decorative arts is well known to art historians and museum-goers. In his sensitive, informative, and highly readable text he not only discusses each work from the point of view of a connoisseur but also presents the cultural and historical milieus in which each was created.

India: Art and Culture 1300–1900 is the catalogue for the exhibition INDIA!, held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from September 14, 1985, through January 5, 1986, the most extensive survey of Indian art ever assembled by a museum in the United States.

Met Art in Publication

Yashoda with the Infant Krishna
, Copper alloy, India (Tamil Nadu, Pudukkottai and Tanjavur districts)
early 12th century
"Rustam is Thrown into the Sea by the Div Akvan", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings) of Firdausi, Abu'l Qasim Firdausi  Iranian, Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi
ca. 1330–40
Dedicatory Inscription from a Mosque, Gabbro; carved
dated 905 AH/1500 CE
"Rustam's First Course: Rakhsh Kills a Lion", Folio from a Shahnama (Book of Kings), Abu'l Qasim Firdausi  Iranian, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Abu'l Qasim Firdausi
ca. 1430–40
Buffaloes in Combat, Miskin, Ink, watercolor, and gold on paper
late 16th century
Portrait of Raja Man Singh of Amber, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
ca. 1590
"Krishna Holds Up Mount Govardhan to Shelter the Villagers of Braj", Folio from a Harivamsa (The Legend of Hari (Krishna)), Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
ca. 1590–95
Pierced Window Screen (Jali), Marble
early 17th century
Dagger with Scabbard, Steel, iron, gold, rubies, emeralds, glass, wood, textile, Indian, Mughal
Velvet and Silk Carpet, Silk, metal wrapped thread; cut and voided velvet, brocaded
17th century
Dolor (Sorrow), Raphael Sadeler I  Netherlandish, Engraving
Raphael Sadeler I
Antwerp 1560–1628 Venice?
"Four Portraits: (upper left) A Raja (Perhaps Raja Sarang Rao), by Balchand; (upper right) 'Inayat Khan, by Daulat; (lower left) 'Abd al-Khaliq, probably by Balchand; (lower right) Jamal Khan Qaravul, by Murad", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, Balachand, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
recto: ca. 1610–15; verso: dated 1541
"Rosette Bearing the Names and Titles of Shah Jahan", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
recto: ca. 1645; verso: ca. 1630–40
Textile Fragment with a Repeating Pattern of Interlocked Tulips and Poppies, Silk, metal wrapped thread; plain weave, brocaded
ca. 1628–58
Dagger with Hilt in the Form of a Blue Bull (Nilgai), Hilt: Nephrite<br/>Blade: Watered steel
ca. 1640
Dagger with Hilt of Leafy Plants, Hilt: Nephrite<br/>Blade: Watered steel
ca. 1640
The House of Bijapur, Kamal Muhammad, Ink, opaque watercolor, gold, and silver on paper
Kamal Muhammad
ca. 1680
Kalamkari Hanging with Figures in an Architectural Setting, Cotton; plain weave, mordant-painted and dyed, resist-dyed
ca. 1640–50
Base for a Water Pipe (Huqqa) with Irises, Zinc alloy; cast, engraved, inlaid with brass (bidri ware)
late 17th century
Child's Coat, Wool; double interlocking twill tapestry weave
late 19th century

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View Citations

Welch, Stuart Cary. 1985. India: Art and Culture, 1300-1900. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.