Mobile menu
Our sites are temporarily closed. More info. Browse the Collection or shop online

Encountering the Raj

Tradition and modernity

During the period of British Crown rule in India (known as the British Raj, 1858–1947) members of the royal family made grand public tours of the subcontinent. By adopting South Asian courtly rituals of durbars and big game hunts they projected themselves as heirs to the Mughal emperors of the past. Carefully staged images of these imperial occasions circulated worldwide.

The early twentieth century saw the rise of the swaraj (self‑rule) movement in India. Many Modern painters responded to colonial politics by reviving earlier South Asian artistic traditions. Queen Mary acquired several works of art by Modern Indian painters including the final painting in this exhibition.