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The Eighteenth Century in Sikh HistoryPolitical Resurgence, Religious and Social Life, and Cultural Articulation$
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Karamjit K. Malhotra

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463541.001.0001

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Painting and Architecture

Painting and Architecture

(p.256) 8 Painting and Architecture
The Eighteenth Century in Sikh History

Karamjit K. Malhotra

Oxford University Press

Sikh painting is studied with reference to continuities from the seventeenth century—geometrical and floral illuminations of scriptural manuscripts, hukamnāmās and portraits of Gurus, and the Janamsākhī illustrations. There are signs of an emerging ‘Sikh’ style in painting. Barring the portraits of Sikh rulers made in the late eighteenth century, the Sikh works of art were directly linked to Sikh faith. Like painting, architectural activity too was evolving. The towns founded by the Gurus characteristically had the dharmsāl, the Guru-ke-Mahal, and the Guru’s court. Guru Hargobind built a fort at Ramdaspur and Guru Gobind Singh built several at Anandpur. The eighteenth century saw the building of a number of Gurdwārās, forts, havelīs, and samādhs, including those called the dehurā and the shahīdganj. A distinct Sikh style of architecture was developing at Amritsar towards the end of the century, with resources coming largely from the emergent Sikh rulers.

Keywords:   illuminations, illustrations, portraits, ‘Sikh’ style in painting, towns founded by the Gurus, Gurdwārās, samādhs, dehurā, shahīdganj, ‘Sikh’ style of architecture

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