Exhibition Overview

Heaven on Earth

In the eighteenth century, court artists depicted Udaipur as a heaven on earth. Not only did they represent Hindu gods gracing the lake-palace city, but they also envisioned divine realms as mirrors of royal Udaipur.The mood of Shri Eklingji temple, for example, affirms that the gods favor Udaipur. Its painter combined observed details, cartographic strategies, and tilted picture planes to map the site’s topography, underlining its importance as the site where Mewar’s first king received a divine blessing to rule. Steep gorges and large lakes surround the temple of Shri Eklingnathji, the dynasty’s tutelary deity. The elegantly elongated composition creates a mountain-kissing white temple that evokes Shiva’s heavenly abode in the Himalayas.

The mood of Shri Eklingji temple
Udaipur, ca. 1730
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Sheet, 88 × 48.6 cm
Private collection