Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

In 1498 the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed on the west coast of India. His arrival established the first direct contact between western Europe and maritime Asia, ushering in a period of commercial, cultural and technological exchange. This signalled not only the beginnings of a global market but also a profound change in taste and lifestyle that still influences our lives today. In 2004, the V&A hosted the exhibition 'Encounters: The Meeting of Asia and Europe 1500-1800'