chapter  1
48 Pages

EpistemologicalPreliminaries

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book underlines that Early Modern Mughal painting reflects the centuries-old Indian philosophy of cultural hybridism. It navigates the complex series of hybridizations between the three main artistic currents that engendered this art, the local pre-Modern Sultanate legacy, the Persian late Timurid and Safavid imports, and the European influx of illustrated books, prints, and paintings. One of the challenges that unraveling the complex double process posed early on was the lack of proper critical-aesthetic studies on Persian painting upon which to rely. The book seeks to sort out the variegated epistemological issues the aesthetic-critical methodology raises in the field of Islamic art history and to build the theoretical support indispensable for preparing the ground for the discussions. It focuses on as an exemplary feature of Mughal pictorial hybridism, Mughal portraiture and more specifically the imperial likeness.