John Seyller

Professor of Art History, University of Vermont


Dr. John Seyller, Professor of Art History, University of Vermont, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1986. He has discovered many inscriptions that have provided an unusually complete account of the mechanisms of the Mughal library and painting workshop. In one exhaustive article (Artibus Asiae, 1997), he opened up a new field with a study of the information recorded in inspection notes written on the flyleaves of hundreds of manuscripts once in the imperial Mughal library. The notes reveal the manuscripts’ source of acquisition, rate of perusal, monetary value, and qualitative ranking (e.g., first class, second grade), thus constituting the most extensive source of contemporary information about Mughal collecting and connoisseurship. His Pearls of the Parrot of India: the Walters Art Museum Khamsa of Amir Khusraw of Delhi (2001) is one of a handful of monographic studies on a deluxe literary manuscript. The Adventures of Hamza: Painting and Storytelling in Mughal India is a catalogue of the Persian popular romance known as the Hamzanama (1557-1572) that accompanied an international exhibition (2002-2003). Two books published in 2010 and 2011 – Eva and Konrad Seitz Collection of Indian Miniatures: Mughal and Dccani Paintings and Masters of Indian Painting – present unpublished Mughal works from a major private collection and ground-breaking essays on six of the greatest Mughal painters of the 16th and 17th centuries. He is currently working on an illustrated corpus of Indo-Islamic seals as well as catalogues of drawings and paintings from the Pahari region of northern India in the Jagdish and Kamla Mittal Museum of Indian Art, Hyderabad.

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