A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery | Gallery 28

Around 1700, artists in Udaipur (a court in northwest India) began creating immersive paintings that conveyed the mood (bhava) of the city’s palaces, lakes, and mountains. These large paintings and their emphasis on lived experience have never been the focus of an exhibition.

With dazzling paintings on paper and cloth—many on public view for the first time—A Splendid Land reveals how artists conveyed emotions, depicted places, celebrated water resources, and fostered personal bonds over some two hundred years in the rapidly changing political and cultural landscapes of early modern South Asia.

The exhibition is organized as a journey that begins at Udaipur’s center and continues outward: first to the city, then to the countryside, and finally to the cosmos. A soundscape by the renowned filmmaker Amit Dutta invites contemporary audiences to sense–and not just see—the moods of these extraordinary places and paintings.

A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur will also be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Summer 2023.

A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur is organized by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, in collaboration with The City Palace Museum, Udaipur, administered by The Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation.

The National Museum of Asian Art gratefully acknowledges the support of members of the  A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur Leadership Council.


Exhibition Co-chairs
Farhad and Mary Ebrahimi
Dr. Vijay and Ms. Nanda Anand

Exhibition Benefactors
Nancy Swift Furlotti (Pettit Foundation)
Nancy Chang Lee

Exhibition Sponsors
Dr. Susan L. Beningson and Steve Arons
The Honorable and Mrs. William A. Nitze
Iris and Lawrence Miller
Dr. Bruce Chalker and Dr. Polly A. Penhale
Ms. Elizabeth Gomersall
Ashok and Stuti Kaveeshwar
Jane Washburn Robinson

Additional support is provided by the Elizabeth Moynihan Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art Endowment, The Ashok and Marion Deshmukh Endowment for South Asia, Smithsonian’s Scholarly Studies, and the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.