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Time Traveller: New Delhi, 1912

Time Traveller: New Delhi, 1912

This painting will transport you to the Delhi Durbar

Sumeet Keswani
December 07 , 2016
01 Min Read

In many ways The Imperial at Janpath has borne witness to the evolution of Delhi. It’s no wonder then that the ‘museum hotel’ houses one of the most sig­nificant collections of colonial and post-colonial art and artefacts. The Delhi Durbar, held on December 12, 1911, being one of the most important chapters in the city’s colonial history, the hotel has a restaurant (‘1911’) named after it. The lobbies here are teeming with art that commemorates the coronation of King Edward V and the ascension of Delhi as capital, in­cluding an interesting scroll sent by the then Calcut­ta administration as a worried response to the rising significance being attached to Delhi.

coronation-procession

 

This gigantic oil-on-canvas painting (by Cavalry & Sons, 1912) shows Viceroy & Vicereine Harding leading the pro­cession on elephants on Coronation Day. They are followed by King George V and Queen Mary and the rulers of Indian princely states. Few might know or even speculate that the royal chairs (quasi-thrones) sitting openly in a room adjacent to this painting are the actual seats used by the King and Queen during the coronation. They’re not as intimidating as the Iron Throne of Westeros but, by all means, have a seat.


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