Indian art and culture takes centre stage as Al Thani jewels exhibition opens in Beijing

Indian art and culture takes centre stage as Al Thani jewels exhibition opens in Beijing

A striking collection of Indian and Indian-inspired gems and jewels sourced from the world-famous Al Thani Collection has gone on display in Beijing.

Treasures from the Al Thani Collection opened at the Palace Museum in Beijing last month and will run until mid-June. The collection is owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani of the Qatari royal family.

Pieces from The Al Thani Collection last went on display in the UK between November 2015 and April 2016 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

More than one hundred jewels, jewelled artefacts and jades were exhibited, with modern works showcased alongside early 17th-century pieces. Further exhibitions were held in Japan, Paris and most recently, Venice.

Alongside Indian jewellery from the reign of the Mughal Dynasty, the Beijing exhibition includes pieces from Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt, as well as fine artworks from the medieval Islamic world.

Representing the grace and glory of India, the exhibition also showcases miniature painting of Maharana Karan Singh of Udaipur Mewar taken from the folio of the late Shah Jahan Album India; Mughal, c. 1625-50.

Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, Managing Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation.
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, Managing Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation.

Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, Managing Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur, represented India at the exhibition’s preview evening as a special invitee of Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani.

Speaking at the event, Shriji said: “It was a pleasure to attend the prestigious Al Thani exhibition at Paris last year and now in Beijing, China.

“This exhibition showcased objects of superlative beauty from disparate cultures and periods. Events such as these contribute enormously in understanding and promoting Indian art and culture abroad.”

The event was also attended by many members of the Royal Family of Qatar, the Chinese minister of culture and tourism and prominent individuals from the business and art world.

Main image: Forbidden City, Beijing ©Saad Akhtar / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-2.0

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