The region of South Asia covers the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas, including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afganistan. The collections from South Asian collections include textiles, paintings, sculpture, jewellery, popular culture, architecture and photography.
Exhibition - Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection
21 November 2015 – 28 March 2016. Spectacular objects, drawn from a single private collection, will explore the broad themes of tradition and modernity in Indian jewellery. Highlights will include Mughal jades, a rare jewelled gold finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan, and pieces that reveal the dramatic changes that took place in Indian jewellery design during the early 20th century. Part of the V&A India Festival.
Closed exhibition - M.F. Husain: Master of Modern Indian Painting
M.F. Husain (1915-2011) is one of the most celebrated and internationally recognised Indian artists of the 20th century. Indian Civilization comprises a series of monumental triptych paintings which represent Husain’s vision of the richness of Indian culture and history. Capturing India’s vibrant cities, colourful Hindu festivals, iconic figures and historic events, these unique paintings were on view to the public for the first time.
The Mughal Empire was an imperial power in the Indian subcontinent from about 1526 to 1757. At the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they controlled most of the subcontinent - extending from Bengal in the east to Balochistan in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south. The V&A's collection of Mughal court arts includes some of the most important pieces in the world.
Jainism, one of the three major religions of early India, has been continuously practised since around the middle of the first millennium BC. Jains believe in a cycle of birth and rebirth, influenced by karma and revere a group of 24 liberated souls called Jinas or Tirthankaras, who act as teachers and role models to the faithful. The V&A has one of the most important permanent collections of Jain art in the UK, including remarkable sculptures and paintings.
The V&A: Working in and with India
V&A curators and conservators are frequent visitors to Indian art institutions, working with several museums on a variety of projects. Research visits are also often made by museum professionals in India to the V&A. Other forms of collaboration include touring exhibitions.
The V&A is a global organisation, engaging with international contacts though cultural partnerships, trading, touring exhibitions, loans, advice and skills sharing. International work brings benefits to the Museum and its visitors by enriching our knowledge and expertise and opens up the V&A collections to international audiences through online resources, loans and exhibitions, and international partnerships.