Once the ancestral home of the Maharanas of Mewar, the premier Rajput rulers of Rajasthan, this palace is now an impressive showcase of the art, history and traditions of the Mewar kingdom and its nobility.
Among the museum's varied collections is an outstanding group of unusually large pictures of court life that were painted at Udaipur from around 1700 until as late as the 1940s.
Ambitiously conceived and teeming with lively detail, these scenes of durbar assemblies, state processions, hunting expeditions, elephant fights, festivals and other royal pastimes are without parallel in Indian painting of the period. They vividly evoke a courtly way of life that has now disappeared. As works of art, they reveal the resilient imagination of the traditional Mewar artists under the influences of the Mughal school and later of Western art and photography.
Almost unknown until the first publication of this volume in 1990, these remarkable paintings are here fully discussed and illustrated in colour.
About the Author
Andrew Topsfield is a senior assistant keeper at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. He has written catalogues, articles, and a thesis on the Udaipur School of painting.
With photographs by Pankaj Shah.