In 'Taj Mahal', Burman Mughal brings dramatically together the Mughal ambience of the Taj Mahal and the ironised pastoral landscape of Edouard Manet's revolutionary 1863 painting. 'Dejeuner sur I'herbe'. Manet's picnic on the grass came to stand, in the eyes of many bourgeois viewers, as a symbol of the impropriety and subversive ness of the bohemians, with its two artists or intellectual figures, its naked nymph or prostitute looking the viewer straight in the eyes, and its clothed female figure dipping into a pool. More than a century of interpretative familiarity later, the painting has acquired a serene classicism that quite eclipses its former notoriety. In Burman?s handling. Manet's painting becomes an evocation of relaxed defiance and pleasure beyond the bounds of bourgeois society, which fuses with the elegance of Shah Jehan's monumental poem to love to form a tranquil theatre of the emotions.
- Ranjit Hoskote