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Lecture and Luncheon: The Mughal Artist at Work

April 13, 2016
Nichols Board of Trustees Suite
$60 members of the Asian Art Council, Friends of Indian and Islamic Art, and Sustaining Fellows; $80 general public

Encounters with Asia: Masterpieces of Indian Art

The Mughal Artist at Work

When John Seyller began work on Mughal painting in the 1970s, he set out to broaden the scope of materials examined and to study each painting and manuscript in the most rigorous detail. Eventually this led him to investigate the complexities of the imperial workshop and to track, step-by-step, the practices by which these paintings were produced. This lecture highlights previously overlooked evidence including hidden notes providing dates and signatures, workshop orders to artists prescribing subjects and due dates, and flyleaf inscriptions and seals documenting Mughal qualitative ratings, valuations, and the custom of circulating paintings among lesser royals and non-royals. 

John Seyller is a professor of art history at the University of Vermont and an internationally acclaimed authority on Indian painting. He specializes in the book arts produced under the Mughals and has written many articles on the imperial painting workshop as well as on individual manuscripts and their painters. His publications include Workshop and Patron in Mughal India: The Freer Ramayana and Other Illustrated Manuscripts of ‘Abd al-Rahim (1999); Pearls of the Parrot of India: The Walters Art Museum Khamsa of Amir Khusraw of Delhi (2001); The Adventures of Hamza: Painting and Storytelling in Mughal India (2002); and Eva and Konrad Seitz Collection of Indian Miniatures: Mughal and Deccani Paintings (2010). He has co-authored, with Jagdish Mittal, four catalogues of paintings and drawings in the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art (Hyderabad), and is presently collaborating with him on another on Deccani paintings and drawings.


RSVP by contacting the Office of Sustaining Fellows at (312) 443-3735. Space is limited.


Encounters with Asia: Masterpieces of Indian Art is a lecture and luncheon series presented by the Asian Art Council, the Friends of Indian and Islamic Art, and the Sustaining Fellows of the Art Institute of Chicago that meets on Wednesdays in April.


Per person, per lecture: $60 members of the Asian Art Council, Friends of Indian and Islamic Art, and Sustaining Fellows, $80 general public


Affiliate Group: 

Buddha with Left Hand in Gesture of Gift Giving (Varadamudra), Chola period, 11th/12th century. Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India. Samuel Nickerson Fund.