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When Indian Flowers Bloomed in Europe

When Indian Flowers Bloomed in Europe

Masterworks of Indian Trade Textiles, 1600–1780, in the TAPI Collection

By (author) Ebeltje Hartkamp-Jonxis


  • Discover how Indian handcrafted textiles, such as dye-painted chintzes and embroidered palampores, made their way to Europe and inspired European textile manufacturing
  • An in-depth study of 30 unique textile items from the 17th and 18th centuries in the TAPI Collection, as well as similar pieces in museums around the world
  • A sumptuous visual delight featuring superb samples of heritage handcrafted Indian textiles and embroidery
Full Description

It is a fascinating story that the merchant companies of Europe, established with the aim of sourcing exotic eastern spices, stumbled upon Indian handmade textiles and found these a highly profitable product for their home markets. This process was to have far-reaching consequences for colonial history. 

In When Indian Flowers Bloomed in Europe the author takes us on a tour of 30 masterpieces of Indian textiles from the TAPI Collection, commissioned by European patrons in the 17th and 18th centuries. Presented here are outstanding examples of large, intricately hand-drawn, dye-painted cotton chintzes made in the Coromandel Coast, and embroidered palampores and garment pieces made in Gujarat and the Deccan. Textiles made for Dutch and British patrons demonstrate the aesthetic high point achieved by Indian artisans in the 17th and 18th centuries. Indian patterned cottons such as these, with their infinite variety of floral motifs, left a profound and enduring impact on textile designers in the western hemisphere, unexpectedly setting the stage for the Industrial Revolution.

The informative text is accompanied by rarely seen images from museums and private collections, offering fresh insights into these iconic examples. Three essays followed by individually explained catalog entries for each textile add to a greater understanding of an important, historical phase in the development and global recognition of India’s textile art, now preserved in museums and collections worldwide as a testament to the handiwork of the skilled artisans of India.

About the Author

Ebeltje Hartkamp-Jonxis (born 1944 in Rotterdam) is a Dutch art historian who specialized in European tapestries and Indian trade textiles. In 2009 she retired from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where she had been Curator of Textiles since 1992. Previously she was Curator of Decorative Art and Design at the State Owned Art Collections in The Hague and liaison officer for Dutch museums at the Ministry of Culture. Books of which she was (co-)author or main contributor include Sits. Oost-West Relaties in Textiel (Chintz. East-West Relations in Textiles) (1987), Sitsen uit Indian/Indian Chintzes (1996), European Tapestries in the Rijksmuseum (2004) and Asian Splendor. Company Art in the Rijksmuseum (2011). She has also published about Sri Lankan ivory carvings made for Dutch customers between 1650 and 1700. 

Niyogi Books
7th Aug 2023
USA & Canada
8.25 in x 11 in
148 Pages
111 color
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