Above: Mahadaji Sindhia entertaining a British naval officer and military officer with a Nautch c. 1815-20. Watercolour on paper. 222 x 317 mm
In 21st century Britain, ‘Empire’ is a highly provocative term. Its histories of war, conquest and slavery can be difficult to address but its legacy is everywhere. Artist and Empire is an exhibition that will examine the people who helped to create, promote or confront the British Empire in their work, bringing together around 200 extraordinary paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and artefacts.
Drawn from major public and private collections across Britain, the exhibition will investigate the different routes by which works of art were created and collected. It will also show how, starting in the 16th century, artists mapped the world and its resources. From Lambert and Scott’s 1731 painting of Bombay Harbour to John Montresor’s 1766 Plan of the City of New York, these works depicted and claimed territories around the globe. Artist and Empire is on from 25 November, 2015 to 10 April, 2016.