Sikh art, from coinage to court painting, retained many features of the older culture. Idealized portraits of the gurus were produced in the Mughal style. The traditional reputation of Lahore as a centre for the production of textiles and metalwork was maintained. The toshkhana housing the treasures of the court also developed its own dynamism through the manufacture of luxury goods under the direction of Misr Beli Ram.
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Khilats, literally robes of honour but extending to jewellery, even to richly caparisoned elephants and horses, were given as presents to visiting dignitaries. Lavish use was made of brightly coloured silks and satins, brocades and carpets. Distinctive embroideries known as Chamba rumals came from the Punjab Hills.
EXHIBITIONS The Art of the Sikh Kingdoms is at the V&A until July 25. Paisley Museum and Art Galleries are presentingThe Uncut Cloth, an exhibition of South Asian textiles, including Kashmir shawls ” on which Paisley shawls are based, from June 19 to October 23.