(ENG) Essay: Exchange of art between Mughal India and the Dutch Empire in the 17th century.

Meine erste Bachelor-Arbeit über Rembrandt und indische Miniaturen. (Kleinere Grammtik- sowie Rechtschreibfehler vorbehalten. / Minor grammar and spelling mistakes may occur.)


When we think about art the first thing we do is to divide it into different scholars or in its countries of origin for example Italian, Asian, Indian, Japanese, Flemish or Dutch art. But with the beginning of the globalization, which started with the first big explorations we also have to look at art in a global context. Not only material goods, such as fabrics, gold or spices travelled around the globe, but also art, culture and traditions were exchanged. And it were not only the Europeans who were fascinated with south-east Asian cultures, the interest on the other side was big as well.

In this essay I explore the relationship between Mughal India and the Dutch Empire. First I give a brief insight into the historical conditions and write about the history of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), as well about the emergence of the Mughal Empire and its trade relations with the VOC.  Afterwards I will discuss the origin of Mughal painting and show some examples of how Mughal artists used and remodelled European, primarily Dutch art. The second part deals with the influences of Mughal art on European art. I focus mainly on Rembrandt’s drawings after Indian miniatures. I attempt to find possible answers to the questions „How did Rembrandt gain access to the miniatures?“, „What happened to the miniatures afterwards?“ and „What were his motivations to copy the miniatures?


If you are interested to learn more, you can download the complete essay here:

Isabella_Hofmann_Exchange of Art Mughal India Dutch Empire 17th Century