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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Poetics, Piety, Politics: Approaching Indian Painting 1500-1900 (HIAR10149)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will serve as an advanced introduction to the arts of South Asia focusing on Indian painting from 1500-1900. Taking a thematic and methodological approach to Indian painting, this course will reflect on the conceptual and material expression of the painted image and its production in the diverse contexts of imperial, courtly, mercantile and devotional realms in the subcontinent.
Course description Why do paintings from South Asia look the way they do? What are the epistemological foundations of the painted image in early modern South Asia? What was the role of manuscript and album painting within court culture? How did painting respond to changing visual technologies, especially the advent of print and photography in the subcontinent? Utilizing a longue durée perspective the course will take up the discussion of key works from South Asia that speak to both the conceptual and formal developments in painting in early modern South Asia and the myriad socio-cultural and political factors affecting their creation.

Painting is a core component of the arts of South Asia. It encompasses a wide range of source material - from Jain manuscripts to Mughal albums, illustrated poetry and musical paintings from the Rajput courts to topographical drawings made for East India Company officers, portraits, souvenirs and much more. This course will familiarize students with the current debates and themes of the discipline while offering an opportunity for close study of objects. Students will be introduced to larger debates surrounding aesthetics and art appreciation of paintings and provide insights into the political, devotional, and cultural contexts of their creation. The course will aim at consolidating skills of visual and critical analysis and serve as an advanced foundation course for South Asian art.

Teaching will be delivered through a mixture of lecture, discussion and student presentation in two-hour classes. These will include occasional visits to important collections of South Asian paintings, drawings in Edinburgh. Students will also spend approximately an hour a week discussing readings and images as part of student-led peer learning groups.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08012) OR Architectural History 2a: Order & the City (ARHI08006) AND Architectural History 2b: Culture & the City (ARHI08007) OR
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have completed at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above, and we will only consider University/College level courses. **Please note that 3rd year History of Art courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 24, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 extended essay of 2,000 words (50%)
1 24 hour online examination (50%)

Learning outcomes will be tested equally in both components of assessment
Feedback Formative and summative feedback will be provided. Students will be asked to complete a short written feed-forward exercise mid-way through semester and will receive verbal feedback at a one-to-one meeting.

Summative feedback will be in the form of a 2000-word essay and a 24 hour online exam, to be taken in the exam period after the end of the semester. Written summative feedback on student essays will also be provided, followed by a second one-to-one meeting. There will also be a preparative exam workshop.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)24 hour online examination paper0:05
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the development of artistic and visual culture in South Asia in the early modern period.
  2. Utilize appropriate methods and theories for looking at South Asian art and art in a non-western context.
  3. Assess primary visual and material sources.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the contexts (religious, political, social) that shaped the arts of South Asia.
  5. Develop advanced skills of visual enquiry, analysis and communication.
Reading List
Aitken, Molly. The intelligence of tradition in Rajput Court Painting, 2011.
Barringer, T, Quilley, J, and Fordham, D. Art and the British Empire, 2007.
Dalrymple, W and Sharma, Y. Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi, 1757-1857, 2012.
Dehejia, Vidya. 'The very idea of a Portrait,' Ars Orientalis, 1 January 1998, Vol.28, pp.40-48.
Desai, Vishakha. Life at Court: art for India's rulers, 16th-19th centuries, 1985.
Diamond, Debra and Glynn, Catherine. Garden and Cosmos, Royal Paintings of Jodhpur, 2008.
Ehnbohm, Daniel. The Cleveland Tuti-nama manuscript and the origins of Mughal painting, 1976.
Goswamy, B.N. Pahari Masters, Court Painters of Northern India, 1997.
Hutton, Deborah. The Art of the Court of Bijapur, 2006.
Losty, Jeremiah. The Art of the Book in India, 1982.
Leach, Linda. Mughal and other Indian Paintings from the Chester Beatty Library, 1995.
Neumayer, E and Schelberger, C. Raja Ravi Varma, Portrait of an artist. 2005.
Stronge, Susan. Painting for the Mughal Emperor: the art of the book 1560-1660, 2002.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Visual and critical analysis
- Independent research
- Presentation and communication skills
- Group work
- Organization and planning
KeywordsPainting,India,South Asia,Court,Portraiture,Rasa,Landscape,Iconography
Course organiserDr Mira Xenia Schwerda
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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