R ecently unveiling this rarely seen royal treasure, the Royal Ontario Museum lets you explore the spectacular royal arts of one of India’s greatest former kingdoms, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Alluring jewellery, lavish tents and canopies, vibrant paintings, and opulent decorative arts tell stories of kingship, strategic alliances, the role of women and life at court. Amassed over the course of nearly four centuries, these treasures reflect the history and artistic legacy of the Rathore dynasty, one of the longest continuous royal lineages in the world, that ruled this desert kingdom until India’s independence in 1947.
Treasures of a Desert Kingdom features masterpieces drawn from the collection of the former royal family, most of which are on display outside their palace setting for the very first time. While the stunning objects highlight India’s multifaceted past, they reveal a lasting cosmopolitan culture that was sustained by a delicate balance between local and external influences, and tradition and modernity.
The exhibition will transport visitors to the dazzling landscape of Jodhpur through engaging and interactive experiences. Visitors are able to glide on a swing while viewing projections of a moon sky, look up to the intricate details of an embroidered canopy and play an ancient Indian board game that royals used to hone their strategy. Augmented reality will bring the oldest surviving Mughal tent to life and showcases historical scenes featuring figures of the royal court from ruler to attendants. This exhibition, organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with the collaboration of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, India, is on display until September 2nd.