ART H 414/521: INDIAN PAINTING, 1500-present
In conjunction with the special exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India, this course critically surveys the history of Indian painting from 1500 to the present. Beginning with Ananda K. Coomaraswamy’s Rajput Painting (1916), which established modern categories, methods, and problems for the field, we shall consider historiographical shifts in the study of Rajput and Mughal painting during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We shall explore various schools and traditions (Jain, Mughal, Rajput, and Deccan, as well as sub-categories of Rajput painting such as Mewar, Marwar, Pahari, Bikaner, Kishangarh, Deogarh, and so on), and the role of the patron, artist, artist-families, and artistic itinerancy. We shall examine transformations in Indian painting during the eighteenth century with the arrival of the British East India Company in South Asia, and the dynamic exchange between court and bazaar during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that yielded new genres of art such as Company Painting and Nathadwara painting. We shall conclude by analyzing the revival of ‘miniature’ painting in the contemporary art world, notably around the National College of the Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. Although the focus of this course is painting on paper (and occasionally cloth), other traditions such as wall painting and palm-leaf manuscripts will be discussed.
This is a reading- and writing-intensive course. Students with a background in related disciplines such as literary studies, history, religion, anthropology, or architecture are welcome.
Your grade for the course will be assessed on the basis of active class participation, including weekly responses to the reading on our electronic discussion board (20%); an in-class presentation (20%, sign-up sheet available on first day of class); a research statement and bibliography (10%, due in the sixth week with a revised statement due in the tenth week); and a final paper (50%, 10 pages on any artistic practice studied in the course, due December 10). Graduate students are expected to submit a paper of 15-20 pages.
All assignments must be completed for a passing grade. If you need an extension on a paper, please contact the instructor at least 48 hours in advance of the deadline. You must have a valid reason, such as a documented illness or a family emergency. For every day (including weekends) your paper is late, I will deduct half a grade. That is, a 4.0 will become a 3.5, a 3.5 will become a 3.0, etc. Papers handed in on the day they are due but after the deadline are also late. All papers must be typed, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and in a 12-point Times font.
Link to complete Syllabus with weekly schedule