The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur

Garden and Cosmos

28 May – 11 October 2009  /  Room 35  /  Exhibition closed  

Exhibition overview

This exhibition provides a rare chance to see paintings in the royal collection of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur.

Garden and Cosmos

The exhibition will feature a loan of 56 paintings from India, none of which have been displayed before in Europe. It is a fantastic opportunity to experience the unique art tradition that flourished in the royal courts between the 17th and 19th centuries.

During this period, the region of Jodhpur, in modern-day Rajasthan, produced a distinctive and inventive painting style. Paintings produced for the private enjoyment of the Maharaja and his court brought together traditional Rajasthani styles and combined them with styles developed in the imperial court of the Mughals.

The paintings included in the exhibition range from a handful of miniatures to monumental artworks depicting the palaces, wives and families of the Jodhpur rulers.

Later works depict epic narratives and demonstrate the devotion of Maharaja Man Singh to an esoteric yogic tradition. Jodhpur artists rose to the challenge of creating images for metaphysical concepts and yoga narratives which had never previously been the focus of the region's court art.

Resources for schools and teachers

Teachers' resources pack for Key Stages 2 and 3 (pdf, 1.4 Mb)
Objects related to the exhibition (Powerpoint, 3.0Mb)

The exhibition is part of Indian Summer, a season of exhibitions and events at the British Museum focusing on India, sponsored by HSBC Holdings.

Additional support for the international tour of Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur
has been provided by Air India.


Organised by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery,
Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with
the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, India

Image: Death of Vali; Rama and Lakshmana
Wait out the Monsoon (detail). Illustration from the
Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas (1532–1623)
Jodhpur, c. 1775; 62.7 x 134.5 cm. © Mehrangarh Museum Trust