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A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur
Now at the NMAA
November 20, 2022
Sunrise in Udaipur, ca. 1722–23, The City Palace Museum-Udaipur, Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), Udaipur, 2012.20.0015
A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur,
National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution
November 19, 2022-May 14, 2023
Around 1700, artists in Udaipur (a court in northwest India) began creating immersive paintings that conveyed the mood (bhava) of the city’s palaces, lakes, and mountains. These large paintings and their emphasis on lived experience have never been the focus of an exhibition.
With dazzling paintings on paper and cloth—many on public view for the first time—A Splendid Land reveals how artists conveyed emotions, depicted places, celebrated water resources, and fostered personal bonds over some two hundred years in the rapidly changing political and cultural landscapes of early modern South Asia.
The exhibition is organized as a journey that begins at Udaipur’s center and continues outward: first to the city, then to the countryside, and finally to the cosmos. A soundscape by the renowned filmmaker Amit Dutta invites contemporary audiences to sense—and not just see—the moods of these extraordinary places and paintings.