The eighteenth century witnessed the circulation of images, ideas, and individuals throughout the Mughal empire and beyond Mughal South Asia. Although art histories of encounter have emphasized the British presence in South Asia, there was, in the late 1700s, a period of crucial exchange between Indian and French artists, patrons, and collectors. This talk explores these connections by focusing on the Gentil Album (Faizabad, India, 1774), an object that embodies the intersection of multiple artistic and epistemic systems. The talk will raise fundamental questions about the relationship between art and globalization, the nature of artistic collaboration, and role of the visual in the construction of historical and contemporary narratives.
Chanchal Dadlani is Associate Professor of Art History at Wake Forest University. Her first book, From Stone to Paper: Architecture as History in the Late Mughal Empire (Yale University Press, 2018), received a Mellon Author Award from the Society of Architectural Historians, and was shortlisted for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award (College Art Association) and the Kenshur Prize (Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies). Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Getty Research Institute, Fulbright-Hays, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.