In this lecture, Dr Gonzalez will present key points from her book “Aesthetic Hybridity in Mughal Painting, 1526-1658” (Ashgate, November 2015). This early Modern material is known for and characterised by its pictorial hybridity that singled it out among the coeval variegated Persianate productions. Although all these productions inspired by Persian models display greatly diversified visual expressions lending them mixed stylistic appearances, Mughal painting constitutes a unique case of hybridity as it draws from a wider and culturally more differentiated spectrum of artistic sources and references. Hybridity is in Mughal painting not only a feature of style, but it also defines its very pictorial ontology and aesthetic metaphysics. Dr Gonzalez will discuss this problematic in expounding issues of methodology, notably the issue of the determining difference between stylistic and conceptual hybridity, wrongly collapsed in the historiography.
Valérie Gonzalez is Research Associate at SOAS, University of London. She is a specialist of Islamic art history, aesthetics and visual culture. She obtained a PhD in Islamic Studies, University of Provence Aix-Marseille, and a Master of Fine Arts, School of Fine Arts, Marseille-Luminy. Her research addresses fundamental conceptual issues and creative processes in the Islamic artistic practices past and present such as figurality, abstraction, pictorial metaphysics or the philosophy of ornament.
Her work relies on an interdisciplinary methodology ranging from art criticism and theory, aesthetic phenomenology and philosophy to linguistics.