A Portrait of the Raj


This painting by an unknown artist depicts King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Emperor and Empress of India. It is dated to the early twentieth century and attributed to the Company School. The likenesses were presumably copied from a photograph. The fanciful costume mixes Eastern and Western regalia.

King Edward was the second British monarch to rule India directly. The British Raj had been instituted in 1858 during the reign of his mother Queen Victoria. King Edward ascended to the throne in 1901. This painting was possibly commissioned during the Delhi Durbar of 1903 when he was proclaimed Emperor of India. It belongs to the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Dehli.

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