26 August, 2012

Splendors of Rajasthani Paintings: Gulistan of Alwar School

Splendors of Rajasthani Paintings: Gulistan of Alwar School

By- Neeru Misra

Several illustrious poets, littérateurs, mystics, thinkers and social reformers flourished in the thirteenth-century India and Persia. Ferishta, Jalaluddin Rumi, Amar Khusrau and Sheikh
Sa‘adi are some of the great contemporaneous names Gulistan or Garden of Roses, is the most popular composition of Sa‘adi, and has been translated in several languages.

Gulistan is not a book of morals alone. It has been considered a treatise on good governance by padshahs and emperors. Regarded as elite reading, it was customary for the diplomats and traders travelling from Persia to Indian courts and vice versa, to present a copy of the manuscript to the high ranking nobles and kings as a mark of respect and recognition of their learning. As a consequence, a number of illustrated manuscripts of popular Persian anthologies were prepared under royal patronage. Many such works have survived and are available to us as a testimony to the art of calligraphy, book binding, illumination, illustration and miniature painting of the yesteryears.

With the decline of the Mughal empire, the artistic traditions of its ateliers found new
patronage under the regional principalities. The kingdom of Alwar in the nineteenth century under Banni Singh, while adopting the imperial Mughal traditions, established its own atelier where the present manuscript was created. The work is a rare confluence of the art of book and miniature painting, reproducing the celebrated Gulistan of Sa‘adi almost six hundred years after its original composition. The rich illustrations created in the Rajasthan court are a salutation to the magnificent Persian and Mughal miniature painting traditions.

Neeru Misra, heritologist and art historian holds a Masters and Doctorate in History from Allahabad University; has been the Head of the Department of Museum Studies at the
National Museum Institute, Delhi.

She has been associated with the academic programmes of the Smithsonian institution’s,
University of Madison and Thammasat University, Bangkok. Widely travelled, she is a
visiting faculty to a number of universities. She has been a Consultant with the United Nations Development Programme and is presently Senior Programme Director with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations under the Ministry of External Affairs.

ISBN  978-81-7304-788-6    2008   184p.   Rs.1750/ pounds 50

4753/23 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110002
Phones: 23284848, 23289100
Fax: 23265162

To order your copy at

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