Dr. Susan Stronge of Albert Museum, London Delivers Lecture
Dr. Susan Stronge, Senior Curator, Asian Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, London said that the Moghul Emperor Jahangir (r. 1605-1627) traveled frequently across his empire and when the court formally moved from one imperial city to another, the ruler and the elite camped en route in a vast, luxuriously appointed tented city with its own bazaars and workshops. Dr. Stronge was addressing an invited lecture on “Artistic Production at the Court of Jahangir” at the Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University today.
Dr. Stronge said that hunting expeditions or excursions to cities such as Kabul, Ahmadabad and Srinagar were undertaken with less complexity. At all times, however, the leading artists and at least one master craftsman accompanied Jahangir wherever he went.
Dr. Stronge asserted that the extent and duration of the emperor’s travels are firmly established by his memoirs, the Jahangirnama, supplemented by the accounts of European and other visitors. These sources also provide information about Jahangir’s artistic commissions.
Dr. Susan Stronge in her paper outlined a Leverhulme Research Project that investigated the influence of Jahangir’s peripatetic life on the production of art for the Court. Preliminary research showed that this raised intriguing questions about the production of famous paintings of his reign and allowed some to be dated with greater precision. It also shed light on relations between the royal patron and particular ateliers such as the diamond cutters’ workshop in Agra, or specialist centres of production like the imperial manufactory for deluxe textiles in Gujarat.
Prof. Tariq Ahmad, Chairman, Department of History welcomed the speaker and Dr. S. Ali Nadeem Rezavi introduced the guest and highlighted the role of Victoria & Albert Museum.
Noted historian, Prof. Irfan Habib and Prof. Iqtidar Alam Khan graced the occasion.