Episode 47: In the first half of the 15th Century (CE) Zahirrudin Muhammad Barbur led his armies from Central Asia to decisive victories in battles at Panipat, Khanwa, and Ghagra on the Indian Sub-Continent. Through these victories Barbur, who claimed a maternal descent from Genghis Khan and paternal descent through the Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur, established the foundation of the Mughal Empire, which would dominate large portions of present-day India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan for the next three-hundred years.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is presenting Art and Stories from Mughal India through October 23, 2016. This exhibition presents works of art from this thoroughly fascinating historical era. Brooke talks with Sonya Rhie Quintanilla, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s curator of Indian and Southeast Asian Art about this world-class exhibition. Their conversation provides glimpses into the artistic expression of an empire that created the Taj Mahal, among countless other gifts to world culture, and which closely examined and attempted to reconcile Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and other religious traditions.
An excellent app dedicated to the exhibition is available on the App Store on Apple devices. Search CMA Mughal in order to download a tour, a hundred images from the exhibition and an audio glossary.
The dream of Zulaykha, from the Amber Album, about 1670. Mughal India. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper; 32 x 24.4 cm (page); 21.9 x 15.4 cm (painting).
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection, 2013.332 (recto)
Clockwise: Pierced railing, about 1655. Mughal India. Marble; 33.5 x 64 x 5.5 cm. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Stuart Cary Welch Collection, Gift of Edith I. Welch in memory of Stuart Cary Welch, 2009.202.67. Image© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Architectural panel, 1700s or early 1800s. Mughal India. Marble inlaid with variegated semiprecious stones; 46.4 x 24.4 x 7.5 cm. The Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Gary Smith, 86.189.4
Hookah bowl, about 1700. Mughal India. Gold on blue glass; h. 19.8 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cornelia Blakemore Warner Fund, 1961.44.
Wine cup in the shape of a turban gourd, 1625–50. Mughal India. Nephrite. Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, The Avery Brundage Collection, B60J485. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
Featured Image: The Annunciation, from a Mir’at al-quds (Mirror of Holiness) of Father Jerome Xavier (Spanish, 1549–1617), 1602–4. Mughal India, Allahabad, made for Prince Salim (1569–1627). Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper; 26.2 x 15.4 cm (page); 20.6 x 10.2 cm (painting). The Cleveland Museum of Art, John L. Severance Fund, 2005.145.2.