Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
I was never interested in the subject of history.
But in the past decade I have enjoyed many history lessons taught to me by artworks!
For instance I recently learnt about Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s conquest of Kashmir and how the Sikh empire extended all the way to Peshawar & Multan in the West and extended into Kashmir. Art in general, textile art & paintings in particular developed distinctively during the period of the Sikh rule.
Here is an example of illustrated manuscripts of the Bhagvat Gita – with illuminated paintings rendered in the Kashmir style, with the text written out in Gurmukhi!
A lovely example of migration of memes and superb example to learn history from!
This set of 10 illuminated manuscripts from the Bhagavat Gita with text in Gurmukhi, created during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is from the WOVENSOULS collection and may be viewed here.
Here is a composite picture of the 10 manuscripts together (apologies for the poor quality & terrible colors!!! will upload better photos soon)
Here are some similar folios from Christies:
If only our history teachers had had access to stories like these, they’d have had a much easier time turning us into sprightly excited learners instead of the sloth-like semi-comatose duffers we used to be during history class!
Further Reading: Sikh Rule in Kashmir
Map By Jangvijay – This file was derived from: Sikh Empire.JPG, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54460107