From the Land of the Taj Mahal: Paintings for India's Mughal Emperors in the Chester Beatty Library

March 21, 2009— June 14, 2009

Location: Bloch Building, Gallery L13

Free for Museum members.

The Mughal Empire was an Islamic dynasty descended from the Mongols that ruled most of India from 1526 to 1857. Leaders such as Shah Jahan, who is best known for building the Taj Mahal, commissioned vibrant illustrations and calligraphies from the greatest artists of the time.

The imagery and techniques used by Mughal artists demonstrate the interaction between Persian and Indian painting traditions, Christian imagery, and European ideas about depth and perspective–developments that were revolutionary in their time. Highly detailed and richly colored portraits of emperors, holy men, important historical events and hunting scenes provide a window into this important period of Indian history and culture.

We know a lot about the Mughals because they wrote memoirs and chronicled their reigns. They presided over a rich empire and a luxurious court.

This website is organized into four sections that allow you to dig deeper into the history and a few important aspects of the Mughal emperor’s lives including religion, opulence, legacy and art.

Click below on each theme to discover how it relates to the exhibition.


Meet the Royals
A Multi-Faith World
The Glamorous Life
Details, Details

This exhibition is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. The original exhibition title and catalogue title is Muraqqa': Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Support for the national tour and catalogue has been provided by The Annenberg Foundation, Culture Ireland, The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

In Kansas City, this exhibition is supported in part by the Francis Family Foundation and the Campbell-Calvin Fund and the Elizabeth C. Bonner Charitable Trust for exhibitions. Midwest Airlines is the official airline sponsor.

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