Social Art at its Best
by A. Banerjee , , pp.,
August 2006, volume 30, No 8

Reading through the title and contents of the book, the scope of this recent publication on painting during the Mughal rule in the Indian subcontinent, covering a span of over 200 years indeed sounds quite sweeping. Aimed at more than a general introductory readership, this reference book gives focus to the shifting modes of the patrons’ taste and the artists’ struggle to cope with the situation. From this concern, the author has thematized eight topics serially as the chapter headings: the atelier, narrative art, portraiture, painting on natural history, margin-painting, ascriptions, identical versions and modern attributions, and the impact of renaissance art. The book has an introduction and an exhaustive bibliography, illustrations and glossary. Each of the above themes is descriptively analysed in the chapters while quoting extensively from the contemporary literary sources, substantiating the arguments. Describing the formal aspects of works of art as its central focus, and largely following the chronological method, the text is interspersed also with brief and relevant conceptualizations.

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