Merging the traditional with contemporary, artists of royal descent showcase their work in the Capital this weekend

India, with a vast history of dynasties, rulers and maharajas, is custodian of various forms of art and design. Though the days of the royals are over, connoisseurship has been picked up by living persons of royal lineage as they bring to audiences contemporary art mixed with glimpses of heritage.

This weekend sees several artists of royal descent exhibit their work in the Capital. ‘Art of the Royals’ is curated by Sunaina Anand of Art Alive Gallery as part of the Royal Fables project. “When the project came to me, I was interested in seeing how the royals were taking their history forward in the form of art. Many schools that they patronise, for instance the Kangra miniature art inspired by miniature school of art, will showcase how the royal lineage of Kangra and Lambargaon is taking the art forward in today’s times”, she said.

“Although the art is contemporary, reflections of their heritage can be seen in their works”, added Ms. Anand. Art work of the artist ‘king’ Late Maharaja Ranjit Singh Gaekwad of Baroda will also be on display. The Maharaja, who had worked on eclectic themes and experimented on various medium, is famous for his versatility.

The exhibition includes photography by Yuvraaj Vikramaditya Singh of Jammu and Kashmir whose work captures the Himalayan state in its pristine magnificence. His subjects are always found in their natural habitat, whether landscape, people or animals. “I like to project people in their own environment, feeling at home and at peace with themselves”, he said.

Princess Vaishnavi Kumari of Kishangarh who successfully revived the forgotten art of Pichwai, her state’s signature miniature style of painting, has added a modern touch to the style which is now evolving and breathing once again. She depicts elements of traditional significance in an urbane-modern context.

Animals seem to hold great fascination for those of royal descent. The penchant has evolved through generations from shikar to painting them on canvas. Aapji Vikramaditya Singh of Palaitha’s charcoal works are on display. “They are so life-like that they can be confused with photography”, remarked an art enthusiast.

“The exhibition brings collective focus on the royals and attempts to preserve their culture. From revival of the old to mixing of contemporary and traditional styles, is on display under one roof” said the curator.