The Prince of Wales at Jaipur, 4th February1876
Title The Prince of Wales at Jaipur, 4th February1876
Accession Number C37
Title2 The Elephant Procession
Museum Name Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata
Gallery Name NA
Object Type Painting
Medium Oil on Canvas
Manufacturing Technique Painted from the Sketches
Main Artist Vassili Vereschagin (1842-1904)
Artist's Nationality Russian
Artist's Life Date / Bio Data The most important Russian Orientalist of the 19th century, Vasily Vereshchagin is a unique figure in the history of Russian art. The combination of his superlative talent, academic rigour, and humanitarian concern resulted in an unparalleled life's work of paintings. In 1874 Vasily Vereshchagin forsook his native Russia for India, where he was to remain for almost two years gathering ethnographic materials with which to colour an intended series of paintings devoted to the region. The works inspired by his time in India are extraordinarily beautiful and accomplished. He travelled extensively, his reverence for this rich land foreshadowing that of another Russian artist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947). Encounters with wild animals, almost drowning in a river, freezing on a mountain ledge and being plagued with tropical malaria did little to dampen his enthusiasm; his fervent interest in every aspect of local life roused the suspicions of the English colonial authorities who quickly, and somewhat ironically, became convinced he was spying for the homeland he had been obliged to quit. During his time in India Vereshchagin was deeply moved by what he perceived to be the plight of a great and ancient people at the hands of the British colonialists and determined to address the matter.
Provenance H H the Maharaja of Jaipur, who had purchased the painting (through Lord Curzon) from Mr Edward Mulley of New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Period / Year of Work 1876
Dimensions 196"x274"
Brief Description The State Procession is passing through the Ambar-Chaupar. The Prince and the Maharaja are seated on the first elephant with the political Agent (Sir Alfred Lyall) behind them. On the second elephant is Sir Bartle Frere and on the third General Sir Sam Browne. Then follow the Prince's staff and the leading officials and the nobles of the Jaipur State.