Victoria Memorial to display rare miniature of Rani Padmini

Selection made from the museum’s Indian art collection

March 07, 2020 10:31 pm | Updated 10:33 pm IST - Kolkata

The unique painting by an unknown artist is being displayed for the first time

The unique painting by an unknown artist is being displayed for the first time

The Victoria Memorial Hall (VMH) will display a unique Rajput miniature painting of Rani Padmini (Padmavati) of Chittor to mark International Women’s Day.

Jayanta Sengupta, secretary and curator of Victoria Memorial Hall, said that the unique painting by an unknown artist is being displayed for the first time in the museum’s galleries.

“The painting was purchased by the VMH on October 3, 1913, from Ganeshi Lall and Sons, art traders. It is just out of our reserves. It will be on display in the Prince Hall on the southern side of the museum from next week,” Mr. Sengupta said.

The painting shows the queen trying on a turban and surrounded by women. The miniature measures 33.7 cm X 27 cm.

“In our collections, we have certain other iconic paintings like the Bharat Mata by Abanindranath Tagore and that of an Indian woman dancing with an English gentleman by Gaganendranath Tagore from the Bengal school of art that celebrate womanhood. But this miniature is also unique,” he said. The VMH’s curator said the museum made a choice from its Indian art collection for Women’s Day.

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“Usually the VMH is known for the collection of its Western paintings like Daniells and Zoffanys. But not many people know that we have a good collection of Indian art, which includes hundreds of miniatures which we will be slowly bringing to display,” Mr. Sengupta said.

The VMH is also opening up a mother and child room (baby nursing room) adjacent to the entrance hall. “This is part of our ongoing effort to make the museum more inclusive and friendlier to people,” Mr. Sengupta said.

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