SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Mapping New Sovereignty: Pilgrimage, Kingship, and the Surplus of power in Early Modern Mysore

Caleb Simmons (2016-17 Research Fellow, Ruhr-Universität Bochum & University of Arizona)

Date: 24 May 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 24 May 2017Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B104

Type of Event: Seminar

In this talk I will discuss the mural paintings located in the Vēṅkaṭaramanasvāmi temple in Mysore, a former South Indian princely state. The paintings portray various important devotional and pilgrimage sites throughout India. These murals paintings, however, represent Mysore as the center of pan-Indian devotion, framing these important sites within portraits of kings from the Mysore lineage. I will argue that these murals were part of a courtly program that re-centered Indian/Hindu devotion and kingship within the Mysore kingdom. I will connect this to theories of political theology in early modernity and suggest that these murals are a visual representation of a new articulation of sovereignty within Kṛṣṇarāja Woḍeyar III’s court that redefined territorial domain through sacred landscape.

Organiser: Dr Crispin Branfoot

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4450