On the Threshold of Paradise: Poetry and Painting in Mughal Kashmir


Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 6:00pm


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St.

Presented by: Harvard Art Museums
Free admission. The lecture will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Please enter the museums via the entrance on Broadway.

The valley of Kashmir, the summer retreat for the Mughal court, held a special place for the imperial family in the 17th century. Through the efforts of several individuals, especially the Mughal governor Zafar Khan ‘Ahsan’, Kashmir became a center of Persian poetry and painting. Under Emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628–58), the court’s annual journey to the valley, and the region’s natural beauty, buildings, and gardens were celebrated in verse and painting. Over time, imperial interest transformed Kashmir into a major center for the production of illustrated manuscripts of the Persian classics, especially the Shahnama, which were exported to other parts of the Persophone world. This public lecture by Sunil Sharma, professor of Persianate and comparative literature at Boston University, will trace Kashmir’s rise in the Mughal period and its role in the history of early modern Persian poetry and painting.

Complimentary parking available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

This lecture is supported by a generous grant from Benjamin and Barbara Zucker.