Mobile menu

The Georgians and India

Following the East India Company’s take-over of Bengal in 1765, the Company gained a greater stronghold in south India as well, centred in Madras (modern Chennai). Soon a British political representative or ‘Resident’ was sent to every significant court in the subcontinent. Here they exerted considerable influence and control.

Letters and gifts, including manuscripts and paintings,were sent from many South Asian rulers toGeorge III and George IV. East India Company officers also presented gifts to the British monarchs, and by the early nineteenth century the Royal Library had amassed one of the most splendid collections of South Asian paintings and manuscripts outside the subcontinent.

Paintings and manuscripts from south India

South India is best known for its brightly-coloured wall paintings and richly decorated painted sculptures

The library of Tipu Sultan

This extensive library of over 2,000 volumes contained manuscripts in the local languages of Kannada, Marathi and...

The Carnatic under the Wallajah Nawabs

George III and George IV had the closest relationship with the Wallajah rulers of the Carnatic

Paintings and manuscripts from the Hindu courts of north India

Many paintings and manuscripts commissioned in the Hindu courts of north India relate to 'bakhti'

Series depicting the dashavatara

Devotion to Vishnu and his ten earthly incarnations is particularly prevalent in north India.

Pahari paintings of music and poetry

Pahari paintings refer to works of art created in the small Hindu kingdoms in the foothills of the Western Himalayas

The story of Prahlada from the ‘Bhagavata Purana’

The Hindu epic text the ‘Bhagavata Purana’ narrates the stories of the avatars of Vishnu

Paintings from the Sikh courts

Sikhism emerged in the Punjab in the sixteenth century as a distinct religion