Exhibition to showcase Britain's 400 year-old-royal love affair with India

Tuesday 07th January 2020 10:59 EST

The Queen's Gallery in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh will showcase artworks from the Royal Library at Windsor, manuscripts and painted frontispiece from a Hindi translation of a book about Queen Victoria's travel in Scotland and Ireland. It will feature a 400 year-old royal love affair with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the exhibition called 'Eastern Encounters: Four Centuries of Paintings and Manuscripts' from the Indian Subcontinent, from April 3 to September 13.

The Times reported that after her accession in 1837, Queen Victoria was showered with works from India. A posthumous portrait of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of the Punjab, was sent to the Queen by his successor, Sher Singh, in a jewel-encrusted gold frame. It will be displayed alongside a sketch by Victoria of his son, Maharajah Duleep Singh. After the East India Company’s annexation of the Punjab in 1849 Duleep Singh moved to England, becoming a favourite of the Queen.

Victoria had a lifelong interest in India. Her studies of the Hindustani language, undertaken in her seventies with Abdul Karim, her secretary, are recorded in her Hindustani diaries which will be displayed in the exhibition along with her phrasebook.

The Royal Collection contains some of the finest South Asian paintings and manuscripts in the world. Tracing more than 400 years of literary and artistic output, the exhibition offers new insights into the shared history of the British Monarchy and the Indian Subcontinent through exquisite illuminated manuscripts, dazzling depictions of the Mughal court, royal portraits, Hindu epics and modern works.

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