Digital Rare Book:
Coronation Durbar Delhi 1911
Official Directory with Maps
Printed by The Superintendent, Government Printing, Calcutta - 1911
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Aout this painting:
The State Entry into Delhi
by Roderick Dempster MacKenzie
Date painted: 1907
Oil on canvas, 289.8 x 366 cm
Collection: Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
This painting shows the Delhi Durbar of 1903 – a ceremonial procession to mark the occasion when King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were declared Emperor and Empress of India.
On a grand scale the image captures the procession of British officials and Indian Maharajas as they enter the Durbar grounds on elephants, passing the Jami Masjid or Friday Mosque. The artist has depicted the huge crowds attending the event, the animals and architecture in great detail, drawing the viewer into the spectacle.
There were three Delhi Durbars – ceremonial gatherings – held in 1877, 1903 and 1911; they were dazzling state occasions to mark the declaration of British monarchs’ rule over India.
This painting was the first item bought for the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum founded in the 1980s. The collection was transferred to Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives in 2013. By displaying it here, we hope it will stimulate debate about if and how its meaning for people has changed since 1907.