Princes and Painters in Mughal Delhi 1707-1857

February 7 - May 6, 2012

Sir David Ochterlony in Indian dress

Delhi has served as a cultural center of North India for more than a millennium in different incarnations. This exhibition focuses on the 18th century to the mid-19th century, the crucial period when Delhi moved from being the heart of the late Mughal Empire to becoming the jewel in the crown of the British Raj.

The exhibition examines Mughal artistic culture in the 18th and 19th centuries to highlight the interwoven nature of Mughal, European and regional patronage networks within which Delhi artists operated. Approximately 100 objects include works by Delhi-based court artists Nidha Mal and Chitarman, and less familiar works by artists such as Ghulam Murtaza Khan, Ghulam Ali Khan and Mazhar Ali Khan.

In addition to Mughal miniatures produced under later emperors — Muhammad Shah (reigned 1719–1748) up to Bahadur Shah "Zafar" (reigned 1837–1858) — this exhibition highlights a selection of Company School paintings produced for Delhi-based personalities such as William Fraser, James Skinner and Thomas Metcalfe. Select photography, drawings and decorative arts are also included.

William Dalrymple and Yuthika Sharma are guest curators of the exhibition.

The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of The Partridge Foundation, a John and Polly Guth Charitable Fund.

Asia Society acknowledges other generous underwriters including the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Lisina M. Hoch, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, and an Anonymous Donor.

Additional support is provided by Sonny and Michelle Kalsi, The Mortimer D. Sackler Foundation, Princess Shamina Talyarkhan, Marie-Hélène Weill, Sonny and Gita Mehta, The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund, Victor and Tara Menezes, Saroj and Sreedhar Menon, Rohit and Katharine Desai, Amna and Ali Naqvi, and an Anonymous Donor.

Image, above:

Sir David Ochterlony in Indian dress, smoking a huqqa and watching a nautch in his house in Delhi
c. 1820
Watercolor and body color
H. 8 3/4 x W. 12 1/2 in. (22.2 x 31.8 cm)
The British Library