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A Self-Conscious Art? Seeing Micro-Architecture In Sultanate South Asia

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Chapter Summary

The current scholarship largely overlooks or underplays the interpretation of the Indic principles in Sultanate architecture. This chapter identifies two of the main regional traditions in which this architectural aesthetic is present and suggests a preliminary typological classification for the different applications of "small models of large buildings" in Sultanate South Asia; the final section reflects on future avenues of research into the making and reception of micro-architecture in Islamicate contexts. The author proposes that the word "micro-architecture" be adopted from European scholarship as an umbrella term to unite the terminological diversity that currently marks South Asian research in this area and prevents it from engaging in broader dialogues. While this term offers a useful way of analyzing and reinterpreting many regional traditions of Islamic architecture, the chapter focuses on Gujarat and the Deccan between the late thirteenth and the seventeenth centuries, when these two areas developed individual micro-architectural traditions.

Keywords: Indic principles; Islamic architecture; micro architecture; Sultanate South Asia



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