Rembrandt’s Mughal Connection
His paintings are amongst the most prized in the world, but did you know that the Dutch master Rembrandt was a big collector of Mughal curios. So inspired was he by them, that he did a whole series of etchings and portraits of Mughal rulers like Jehangir and Shah Jahan who were his contemporaries!
In the 17th century, the Dutch were among the biggest traders who sailed the seas weaving their way across the ports of India. Frequent travel brought with it constant cultural exchanges – while the Europeans brought the idea of perspective or depth in paintings from the masters back home, they took back exotic pieces of art and miniatures. In Holland, these paintings were known as ‘Suratse teeckeningen’ or ‘drawings from Surat’, as Surat was the main trading port of the Mughal empire.