18th Century Miniature painting from the collections of Antoine Polier and JeanBaptiste Gentil
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Miniature painting executed at the provincial court of Awadh in the late 18th century has been stigmatized as inferior, ornately colored imitations of Mughal originals, meant primarily for European consumption. The Polier collection (at the Museum für Islamisches Kunst, Berlin) and the Gentil collection (at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris), both assembled between 1760-1785 in Faizabad, consists of original Mughal, Deccan, and Rajput miniatures, of which many were copied by Faizabad artists in the late 18th century and included within these collections. More importantly, Mihr Chand (son of the artist Ganga Ram), known foremost for his study "A European Gentleman Watching a Nautch," reproduced most of these "copies." These works, attributed to Mihr Chand, cast new light on the career of Mihr Chand between 1759-1772.