RAS and IAC Book Launch – Prof. Yael Rice: The Brush of Insight: Artists and Agency at the Mughal Court


Please join the Royal Asiatic Society at 6.30pm on Tuesday May 23rd for the hybrid book launch of Prof Yael Rice’s The Brush of Insight: Artists and Agency at the Mughal Court. This is a joint event being held with the SOAS Indian Art Circle.

You can register for zoom attendance by emailing Matty Bradley at mb@royalasiaticsociety.org

Free and open to all at Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD.

In this illustrated lecture, Yael Rice discusses her very recently published book, The Brush of Insight: Artists and Agency at the Mughal Court (University of Washington Press, 2023), a study of Mughal court painters‘ evolution from illustrators of manuscripts and albums to active mediators of imperial visionary experience. Rice demonstrates how royal artists created a new visual economy that featured highly naturalistic royal portraits and depictions of the emperors’ dreams, and how these images, in turn, shaped the perception of the Mughal emperors’ preeminence in all domains—temporal and spiritual—from the reign of Akbar to that of his son and successor, Jahangir. 

Yael Rice is associate professor of art history and of Asian languages and civilizations at Amherst College. She specializes in the art and architecture of South Asia, Central Asia, and Iran, with a particular focus on manuscripts and other portable arts of the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries. In addition to The Brush of Insight, she is author of a chapter entitled “Books that Bind: The Persianate Album and its Widespread Circulation,” in Old Stacks, New Leaves: The Arts of the Book in South Asia, edited by Sonal Khullar and just published by University of Washington Press. Other recent publications include „Art History Beyond Objects,“ published in Art Journal Online in January of this year, on digital humanities approaches to the teaching of art history.