Mapping the Past for the Present

The City Palace Museum, Udaipur announces an exhibition on rare painted and printed maps of Udaipur; in association with The Getty Foundation of USA  


‘Picturing Place: Painted and Printed Maps at the Udaipur Court’, an exhibition which started this month at The City Palace Museum, Udaipur is funded by The Getty Foundation, under The Paper Project. The exhibition brings together rare, printed maps, painted maps and cartographic documents from the Mewar Royal collection in the Mardana Mahal. 

The exhibition gives visitors fascinating insights into how places, landscapes, and the topography of the State of Mewar were produced on maps, paintings, and other related documents. The iconic architecture of Udaipur’s palaces can also be seen in these objects, as depicted by cartographic printers and painters of the past.  

Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), Udaipur received the grant in 2021 from The Getty Foundation for an exhibition of this rare, and never-seen-before, array of maps and cartography-related documents. Curatorial and research teams of The City Palace Museum have been working on preserving the cartographic materials dating back to the 1700s in its collections.  

Said Dr. Shailka Mishra, consultant curator for the project, “The exhibition has been curated in different themes. We have showcased some 53 objects including a diverse array of maps meticulously commissioned and collected by the Maharanas of Mewar. On display are seven Paintings, 31 Maps, one Architectural drawing, 12 photographs, one Photo album and one Bahida.  There are details of topographical maps, landscape paintings, the cartographic works of British painters on Mewar and Udaipur, besides the early printed maps of India, world maps, and local district maps created for revenue administration are on display.”  

The maps in Hindi and English reflect the growing interest of historians in regional histories and cultural identities.

To engage the visitors, there are interactive kiosks and tours provided in the gallery. Through stories, different perspectives, they can absorb new facts and knowledge about the history of Mewar through the maps.  

“I heartily congratulate the curatorial and research teams of our Museum and the Getty Foundation,” said Dr. Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar, Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, “for creating and curating yet another landmark exhibition. It is a fine example of how the living heritage of Mewar is being preserved, and shared with young and global audiences alike in India and overseas. In the years ahead, we hope to build on these platforms of sharing authentic knowledge and our legacies.”  

The Picturing Place: Painted and Printed Maps at the Udaipur Court’ exhibition comes on the heels of the two major international exhibitions in France and the USA for which The City Palace Museum lent its invaluable collection in 2022-2023.  

In France, the photographs of the State of Udaipur were jointly exhibited at Chambord castle titled ‘A Tale of Two Palaces’; while at the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art in Washington, a selection of over 70 paintings of Mewar was displayed in the exhibition A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur’.    

Image courtesy of The City Palace Museum

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