Indian painters, whether they worked for emperors or Rajputs, most probably never cowered in the shadows — I imagine the workshops they worked in had just the right amount of daylight needed for them to apply brush to palm-leaf and, from about 1500 onward, to paper. But in the way art historians have in the past constructed the story, their identities were overshadowed by this notion that beautifully illustrated manuscripts “emanated” from ateliers. Of course there were people who wielded brush and ground pigments, but according to this paradigm they were somewhat like factory workers executing routine tasks.
It has taken a lot of painstaking research to shift that paradigm — but shifted it has, as “Wonder of the Age,” currently at the Met shows. My review in the WSJ and images of some of the works on display, including a couple that show how much some artists ventured across artistic borders ….
(click on the image to enlarge it — scroll over the image to find out who owns the painting)