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Margin Notes in the Album of Spring: Botany in Mughal and Later Painting

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Margin Notes in the Album of Spring: Botany in Mughal and Later Painting

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Saturday, October 15
10:00 a.m.–noon PT
Speaker: Nicolas Roth, Ph.D., Guest Curator, Bagh-e Hind
Virtual Event


The vast body of paintings produced under the Mughals and their various vassals, rivals, and successors over the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is replete with floral ornament, garden scenes, and botanical studies. This wealth of painted plants is often discussed in relation to the Mughal adaptation of ornamental motifs gleaned from European prints. However, it is also a reflection of contemporary horticultural practice, the evolving garden flora of the Indian Subcontinent in a globalizing world, and a deeply rooted cultural conventions governing the aesthetic appreciation of plants. This talk will delve into this lush world to explore on the nuanced regimes of botanical knowledge and artistic choice that went into creating truly fascinating works.

Nicolas Roth is a historian and literary scholar whose work focuses on the intellectual history and material culture of early modern South Asia, with a particular interest in gardens and horticulture. He received his Ph.D. in South Asian Studies from Harvard University. He draws on materials in Persian, Sanskrit, and various forms of Urdu and Hindi across a broad array of textual genres, and also works with painting, architecture, and other elements of the visual arts. Roth is also guest curator, with art critic and perfumer Bharti Lalwani, of Bagh-e Hind, an ongoing multidisciplinary project that aims to explore seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Indian paintings through scent translations of their subject matter.


Please reserve your spot by clicking on this link. All participants will be sent the Zoom link and instructions via email once you secure your place. Space is limited.

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Free for active South Asian Arts Council (renewed for 2022-2023) and SDMA members | $10 for all others


Sponsored by the South Asian Arts Council.


Featured at top right: Four o’clock or the Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa), ca. 1640. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Museum purchase, 1992.66.

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October 15, 2022
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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