This painting by the British artist Roderick MacKenzie (1865 – 1941) sits in a heavy frame inscribed with verses from the Qu’ran in Arabic script. This is the second version of the painting. The original commission is in the Victoria Memorial Hall - now a museum - in Kolkata. It shows the Delhi Durbar of 1903, a dazzling state occasion to mark the declaration of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Emperor and Empress of India. Painted from a British perspective, it portrays the dominance of Britain over India. However, this image of British supremacy masks the realities and the often fragile nature of British power at a time when events elsewhere, such as the Boer war, prompted questions about the purpose and nature of British imperial rule.
Depicts an event in Delhi, India
20th century British
oil on canvas
height: 370 cm
width: 595 cm
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
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