The Planetary King: Humayun Padshah: Inventor and Visionary on the Mughal Throne

The Planetary King: Humayun Padshah: Inventor and Visionary on the Mughal Throne

  • 07 Feb
    2023

    Islamic Aesthetics

    Ebba Koch

The Planetary King: Humayun Padshah: Inventor and Visionary on the Mughal Throne

Image: Humayun_Sun_©Jill_Watson2021
 

Humayun, the son of Babur and the second Mughal ruler, reigned intermittently from 1530 to 1556 in Agra, Kabul and Delhi. Until now, his numerous achievements, including winning back the throne of Hindustan, have not been well recorded. The lectures introduce  Ebba Koch’s latest book  The Planetary King  (Mapin 2022) which takes for the first time a holistic  look at Humayun. After following briefly Humayun’s  travels and campaigns in Afghanistan, India and Iran during the political and social disturbances of the early sixteenth century the first part of the lecture will draw attention to the padshah’s deep involvement with literature, poetry, mathematics, astronomy, astrology and occultism and then focus on his extraordinary inventions, his planetary court and its settings. We will look  at the literary descriptions of Humayun’s court historian Khwandamir  of  the  Cosmic  Carpet and its use as a gameboard, and of the Floating Palace, which will confront us with  the issue of ekphrasis, the verbal representation of visual objects and how it can serve for   reconstruction. The second  part of the lecture will be devoted to Humayun’s patronage of architecture  and the arts and discuss the padshah as builder and the founder of the Mughal school of painting. The presentation will conclude by looking at Humayun’s mausoleum as the posthumous sum of his visions and dreams.

Duration -

February 7, 2023

Timing: 6:15 - 8:30 PM

Fees

Rs. 1,000 (For student discounts registrations kindly email info@jp-india.org)

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Ebba Koch

Ebba Koch

Ebba Koch taught at the universities of Vienna, Oxford and Harvard; she specialises in the architecture, art and culture of the Great Mughals of South Asia and their artistic connections to Central Asia, Iran and Europe. Her publications include Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology (Oxford 2001) and The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra (Thames& Hudson 2006). Presently she is working with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture on a Museum for Humayun’s Tomb at Delhi, and authored an accompanying book The Planetary King: Humayun Padshah: Inventor and Visionary on the Mughal Throne (Mapin 2022).