The Viceroys of India

Sneha Sikand of Saffronart on one of the latest exhibitions at London’s National Portrait Gallery

George Nathaniel Curzon, Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Image Credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

London: The National Portrait Gallery in London is currently displaying a selection of portraits of Viceroys who represented the British monarchy in pre-independent India. Used in place of the more bureaucratic term ‘Governor General’, the Viceroy’s role was to serve as a direct representative of the monarch to the rulers of South Asia’s princely states and other leaders of the subcontinent.

Spanning almost a century, the Viceroy years represented a time of constant change, which is quite evident in the photographs on display in this exhibition. Apart from portraits of the Viceroys themselves, the collection also features those of other notable people who shaped the history of the time. The eleven works on display feature explorers Edward Adrian Wilson, Edward Leicester Atkinson, and also an iconic image of Lord and Lady Mountbatten with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The image, by legendary Magnum photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, was taken before the departure of the Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy, from India in 1948.

Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma;
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru;
Edwina Cynthia Annette, Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Image Credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

Read more about the exhibition here.

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