Lola Cindric is a PhD student in Social Anthropology at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) of Paris, affiliated to the Center for South Asian Studies (CEIAS). Her research aims at studying the technical, commercial, identity and political issues at stake in the craft of “pietra dura” (or stone inlay/Florentine mosaic/parchin kāri) both in Florence, Italy, and Āgrā, India. Its scope is to examine and analyse the transition from a court craftsmanship patronised by powerful patrons —the Mughals and the Medici— since the beginning of the 17th c. towards the production of commodities in the current context of mass tourism in these two cities. Tracing the ways in which these two centres of production have been connected and compared, in particular by British agents during the 19th c., this thesis will analyse the effects of this comparison on the technical practices and the promotion of this craft today, whose present-day invocations of the past requires to adopt a long-term historical perspective. Mainly approached by historians through a comparative lens so far, this joint study will rather look at these two productions through an anthropological approach focusing on exchanges and circulations. Hence, it will focus on the technical evolutions of the “pietra dura”, as well as on the discourses about it and the socio-economic, identity based, and political issues these can bring about. The methodology employed to achieve this project relies on a historical survey based on documentary, iconographic and material sources, as well as on a multi-sited ethnography in both Āgrā and Florence.

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