The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents "Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India" closing day
A major collaboration brings a groundbreaking exhibition of royal treasures from India to Houston in March. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in partnership with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust of Jodhpur, "Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India" showcases nearly four centuries of artistic creation from the kingdom of Marwar-Jodhpur, one of the largest princely states in India, in the
northwestern state of Rajasthan.
Through lavishly made ceremonial objects, finely crafted arms and armor, sumptuous jewels, intricately carved furnishings and more, "Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India" outlines the dynamic history of the Marwar-Jodhpur region and the Rathore dynasty that ruled it for over seven centuries. Established in the 15th century, the city of Jodhpur was once the powerful capital of Marwar, a vast desert kingdom ruled by the Rathores, who were descendants of a hereditary social caste of Hindu warriors and kings (known as “kshatriyas”). Over the course of several centuries, the prosperity of Jodhpur attracted the attention of two successive empires who ruled India: the Mughals and the British. Both encounters reshaped Jodhpur’s cultural landscape, introducing objects, artists, languages, architectural styles and systems of administration that influenced the royal identity of the Rathore dynasty. Through some 250 objects from Indian courtly life, most never before seen outside of Jodphur, the exhibition illuminates
how the Rathores acquired and commissioned objects amidst these cross-cultural exchanges to leverage patronage, diplomacy, matrimonial alliances, trade, and conquest.