deccan, india, indian arts, indian painting, met, new york

Deccan opulence

An exhibition at New York’s Met brings together some two hundred works of art from the opulent Deccan courts of India.

The Deccan sultanates were five dynasties of Afghan, Turk, Mongol and various other ethnic backgrounds that ruled kingdoms in the south-west of India during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Featuring paintings in a lyrical poetic style, vivid textiles and intricate metalwork, these works are the result of a unique melting pot of cultural influence in the sultan’s courts.

The splendour of these courts, which were built on the wealth of the diamond-rich regions of the south-west, attracted artists, writers and traders from Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Their influences combined to produce artwork of compelling beauty and lyrical charm.

Sultans of Deccan India 1500-1700: Opulence and Fantasy is on at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, until July 26th 2015.

Image: Attributed the Bombay painter (probably named Abdul Hamid Naqqash). Sultan ‘Ali ‘Adil Shah II Shooting an Arrow at a Tiger (detail). Bijapur, ca. 1660. Ink, opaque watercolor, gold and probably lapis lazuli pigment on paper. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Lent by Howard Hodgkin.