This marks the coming together of refined naturalistic works of the imperial Mughal court,subtly coloured paintings of the Deccani sultanates and vibrant frames of the Rajput kingdoms that flourished during the Mughal period. With it,National Museum Cardiff at Wales,the UK,has brought together a selection from prominent British artist Howard Hodgkins collection of Indian paintings. These pictures have been chosen because they were beautiful,because they touched my emotions,and not for any scholarly purposes. It is a collection made by an artist, says the Turner Prize-winner,who reportedly decided he wanted to collect art at the age of 14.
Acquired during Hodgkins visits to India in the last 50 years,the collection includes royal portraits,scenes of court life,hunting scenes and elephant portraits,among others. If the 1660 gouache with gold on paper,Sultan Ali Adil Shah hunting a tiger,has the king in gold robe drawing his bow to hunt for the rather feeble tiger at bay,the 1770 work Maharaja Dhiraj Singh of Raghugarh riding,has a powerful figure on a stallion holding his sword at his shoulder. While the exhibition Visions of Mughal India: The Collection of Howard Hodgkin has travelled to other venues before,an addition at Cardiff is a pair of cloth hangings,designed as temple hangings. These depict four young maidens dancing.