Latest Trending News

NGMA to Celebrate 350th Anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Coronation with Grand Exhibition

New Delhi: The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) at Jaipur House in New Delhi is set to host an extraordinary exhibition to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the grand coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Titled “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj: Celebration of the 350th Anniversary of the Great Coronation,” this exhibition will be inaugurated on June 6th, inviting audiences to embark on a historical voyage through the life and times of this legendary figure.

The exhibition showcases a collection of larger-than-life canvases, brought together by Deepak Gore, a passionate art collector inspired during a 1996 visit to the museums of London and Paris. Managing artist Jehangir Vazifdar’s gallery, Gore envisioned a collection that resonated with powerful, locally-rooted narratives. The project began in 2000, in collaboration with the renowned father-son artist duo, Shrikant and Gautam Chougule. A turning point in this journey was the involvement of Padma Vibhushan Balwant Moreshwar Purandare, affectionately known as Babasaheb Purandare, a legendary historian and an undisputed authority on Shivaji. Babasaheb meticulously ensured historical accuracy in every detail, from the warriors’ attire to the majestic recreations of palaces and forts.

The collection, which took years to complete, culminated in 2016 with a breathtaking display of 115 masterpieces. Each canvas stands as a testament to Gore’s vision, the artistic brilliance of the Chougule duo, and Babasaheb Purandare’s invaluable historical expertise.

The exhibition opens with a pivotal scene depicting a young Shivaji, barely fourteen, receiving the saffron flag (Bhagwa Jhanda) from his father Shahaji. This symbolic act marks the birth of a dream—an independent Maratha kingdom, Swarajya. The narrative unfolds through a series of significant military and naval events, highlighting Shivaji’s strategic genius, particularly his selection of the Fort of Raigad as his bastion.

Beyond his military prowess, Shivaji is portrayed as a visionary ruler and astute administrator. The exhibition features paintings depicting acts of benevolence and his defiance against European domination, offering a glimpse into his multifaceted leadership. A dedicated section introduces contemporaneous rulers who played significant roles in shaping Shivaji’s era. On the opposite wall, Fort Raigad is depicted in various moods and seasons, providing an immersive experience of the fort’s significance.

A particularly alluring painting of Fort Attock (in present-day Pakistan), a later conquest, visually completes Shivaji’s grand vision of Swarajya, stretching from the Indus to the Kaveri. Several preparatory portraits of Shivaji, including a striking one in Jehangir Vazifdar’s signature style, offer a closer look at the man behind the legend.

This exhibition not only honors Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s legacy but also celebrates the rich tapestry of Indian history. Visitors will have the unique opportunity to witness the historical and cultural grandeur of the Maratha empire through meticulously crafted artworks.

Comments are closed.