Explore the remarkable collection of Indian paintings and drawings of the artist Howard Hodgkin.
‘These pictures have been chosen because I thought they were beautiful, because they touched my emotions, and not for any scholarly purposes. I hope you enjoy looking at them.’
(Howard Hodgkin, January 2012)
The artist Howard Hodgkin has been a devoted collector of Indian paintings since his schooldays in the late 1940s. Progressively refined over the years, his collection has grown slowly but steadily and has long been considered one of the finest in the world. It is above all a personal collection, formed by an artist’s eye.
The Hodgkin collection comprises most of the main Indian court styles that flourished during the Mughal period (c.1560-1858): the refined naturalistic works of the imperial Mughal court, the poetic and subtly coloured paintings of the Deccani Sultanates, the bolder Rajput styles at the courts of the Hindu Maharajas in the Punjab Hills and Rajasthan. They are shown here within these broad regional groupings. Yet there are also recurrent themes in Hodgkin’s collecting which appear throughout this exhibition: his keen interest in drawings as well as fully coloured works; his predilection for unusually large Indian pictures; and, not least, his love of elephant subjects, from the serene imperial elephant portraits by Mughal artists to the powerful action studies from Kota in Rajasthan.
Eastern Art Online presents an online version of Visions of Mughal India to provide a taste of the exhibition on display in the Ashmolean's Special Exhibitions Galleries. It enables visitors to view high-quality, zoomable images as well as browse and search all objects in the exhibition. A fully illustrated catalogue of the exhibition is also available to purchase from the exhibition shop or online here.