How and why did painters centre sensory experience, enchanting emotions, and cultural landscapes in South Asia? A Splendid Land is the first exhibition to address this question through dazzling paintings made over a period of two hundred years, spanning from Mughal to colonial India, that have never been published or exhibited in the United States.
Around 1700, artists in Udaipur began creating large, immersive paintings to convey the mood (bhava) of the city’s palaces, lakes, and mountains. A Splendid Land explores how painters depicted places, mapped terrains, and triggered memories to foster political and personal attachments to land. By examining social networks, ecological relations, and pleasurable pursuits, and by drawing upon previously untranslated sources and engaging with the history of the senses, A Splendid Land opens early modern art history to new interpretative possibilities.
About the Author
Dipti Khera, PhD: Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Art History, and Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Trained in architecture, museum anthropology, and art history, Dipti Khera has published on Indian painting, colonial taste and design, and early modern mobilities revealed through vernacular travel objects. Khera’s The Place of Many Moods: Udaipur's Painted Lands and India's Eighteenth Century (Princeton University Press, 2020) was awarded the American Institute of Indian Studies’ Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in Indian Humanities. Among her many collaborations,