India – History and Society – for those who wish to think and learn for themselves
A brilliant exhibition on the art and politics of the Mughal dynasty from the 16th century to the fall of Delhi in 1857, covering the 15 Mughal emperors including the first 6 who were called the Great Mughals. Over 200 exhibits showcasing the exquisite beauty of Mughal art selected from a vast and yet incompletely studied collection at the British Library.
The collection takes you through the advent of Babur, with excerpts from the Baburnama, through Humayun, through Akbar and works from Abul Faizal, including the art of Akbarnama, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb.
For the first time, beautiful folios from a book commissioned by Dara Shikoh, the brother of Aurangzeb are also on display. Several other masterpieces from the late 1500s to 1857 are on display. These include works by famed artists such as Govardhan.
Literature is covered in the works commissioned by the emperors, and a letter from the great poet Mirza Ghalib in 1866.
Other beautiful pieces such a big jade terrapin and a nephrite drinking cup are also wonderful to behold. A sword of Dara Shikoh is also on display. Almanacs, medical textbooks, books on astronomy and accounts of revenue and taxation are also seen. The first Persian translations of the Mahabharata and Upanishads (which were the first versions to reach Europe rather than the Sanskrit ones) are also on display.
From paintings of the emperors to the crown of Bahadur Shah Zafar (on loan from Queen Elizabeth II), an unmissable event, 2012 to 2013.