Mughal Floral Designs between Paintings and Textiles
Images of Drapes/Draped Images
Textiles and Representation in Early Modern Asia and Europe
University of Vienna, 8-9 September 2023
Under the reigns of Mughal emperors Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) and Shah Jahan (r. 1627-1658), naturalistic floral designs, directly copied from, or inspired by European herbaria became increasingly popular, giving rise to a whole new decorative repertoire spread to all artistic media, including the margins of albums gathering paintings and calligraphies, produced for the emperors or their close circle, and textiles such as pashmina carpet, garments and upholstery.
The parallel development and evolution of floral designs on both media in the first half of the 17th century, mirrored by a resurgence in the second half of the 18th century, offer the opportunity to analyse productions chronologically limited, but also to highlight the interest of a cross-media methodological approach. Primary sources are almost completely silent on artistic productions in general, and even so on the use of floral imagery, so material analysis is the only tool available to form a coherently dated corpus and to circumscribe in time the production.
This paper will offer a cross-media analysis, in a diachronic perspective, to date and contextualise a small corpus of paintings, albums and textiles.