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Exhibition provides insights into former Indian rulers' lives

By Zhang Zixuan (China Daily)

11:07, June 14, 2013

Stringed instrument, North India, 1800-1880. (China Daily)

Visitors can feast on works from the 18th and 19th centuries

For the first time, mysterious Indian rulers and royal life are unveiled in front of Chinese audiences at the Palace Museum - better known as the Forbidden City, igniting sparks from the cultural collision between the two ancient civilizations.

Titled Splendor of India's Royal Courts, the exhibition is curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, a world-leading museum of art and design founded in 1852.

"The exhibition is a unique one specially arranged for the Palace Museum by V&A, and will not be shown anywhere else," says Anna Jackson, keeper of the V&A's Asian department and curator of the exhibition.

The 113 selected works from the V&A's collections of the Indian subcontinent include paintings, textiles, jewelry and thrones, arms and armor as well as instruments.

The treasures are from the 18th and 19th centuries, a remarkable period of great political and cultural change in Indian history.

"Under the patronage of India's rulers, magnificent paintings and objects were created which enhanced their status and identity, and reflected these shifts of power and influence," says Jackson.

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