CategoriesHistory MAHARAJA: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts


MAHARAJA: The Splendour of India's Royal Courts

ANNA JACKSON & AMIN JAFFER    Book Number: 82372    Product format: Paperback

"Maharaja" is the Indian word for a great king, rulers who were expected to protect their subjects and minister justice, to be fierce warriors and skilled hunters, and finally to be generous patrons of the arts. This beautiful book was produced alongside an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum celebrating the Maharajas as patrons, commissioning superb craftsmanship in jewellery, painting, metalwork, costume and architecture. Their political and cultural importance has often been side-lined by historians who have focused exclusively on the Orientalist stereotype created during the Raj. The Indian concept of darshan means being seen as a superior being, processing in a howdah on the back of an elephant, and many of the paintings reproduced here depict such processions, including one where the British Viceroy Lord Curzon is the elevated figure on the elephant. Relationships with the British were complex, and an exquisite painting from the early 19th century shows the Maharana Jahan Singh of Mewar ceremoniously receiving the British Governor-General, Lord Bentinck. Following the Mutiny of 1857 the Indian rulers were designated princes rather than kings but their role of patronage continued. From the later 19th century we have photographs of rulers such as the Maharajah of Idar, Pratap Singh, whose warm smile is belied by the fact that his hand is on the pommel of his sword. Women rulers included the Rani of Jhansi who was besieged by the East India Company and became a warrior heroine. 240pp, large paperback, authoritative text and numerous colour reproductions.
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Published price: £89.50
Bibliophile price: £18.50


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ISBN 9781851776467
Browse these categories as well: History, Art & Architecture, Collectables/Antiques

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