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  • 1/5

    Eckart Muthesius
    The Living Room at Manik Bagh
    Circa 1929
    Watercolour on paper
    32 x 43.5 cm

    Published:
    Billé, Raphaèle, and Louise Curtis. Moderne Maharajah, un mécène des années 1930. Paris: Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 2019, p.134.

    Exhibited:
    ‘Moderne Maharajah, un mécène des années 1930’, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 26 September 2019 – 12 January 2020.

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  • 2/5

    Eckart Muthesius
    Floor Lamp for the Entrance Hall of Manik Bagh Palace
    1930
    Pencil and gouache on paper
    35.3 x 23 cm

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  • 3/5

    Eckart Muthesius
    River Barge for the Maharaja
    1934
    Graphite on paper
    47 x 64 cm

    Published:
    Billé, Raphaèle, and Louise Curtis. Moderne Maharajah, un mécène des années 1930. Paris: Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 2019, p.61.

    Exhibited:
    Bombay City Hall, 1934.
    ‘Moderne Maharajah, un mécène des années 1930’, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 26 September 2019 – 12 January 2020.

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  • 4/5

    Bernard Boutet de Monvel
    Study for the Portrait of the Maharaja of Indore in traditional Maratha dress
    1929-34
    Graphite on paper
    37 x 37.5 cm

    Exhibited:
    ‘Moderne Maharajah, un mécène des années 1930’, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 26 September 2019 – 12 January 2020.

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  • 5/5

    Eckart Muthesius and Trude Rein
    Reception Hall in Indore
    Circa 1935
    Gouache on paper
    58.8 x 67.5 cm

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Exhibition images

1/5

Eckart Muthesius
The Living Room at Manik Bagh
Circa 1929
Watercolour on paper
32 x 43.5 cm

Published:
Billé, Raphaèle, and Louise Curtis. Moderne Maharajah, un mécène des années 1930. Paris: Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 2019, p.134.

Exhibited:
‘Moderne Maharajah, un mécène des années 1930’, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 26 September 2019 – 12 January 2020.

Spotlight: Indore - The Project of a Modern Vision, 1929-35

22nd July, 2021 - 31st August, 2021

View catalogue

India’s greatest collector of the avant-garde of the 20th century, Yeshwant Rao II Holkar, Maharaja of Indore attracted the great minds of his day. He was educated at Oxford and travelled to Paris and New York, where he met the most discerning dealers, artists and designers of his time. His sophisticated taste was backed with great intuition and a keen eye for the extraordinary.

Manik Bagh, his palace in Indore, is perhaps the greatest testament to this unique figure in Indian culture. Designed by the German architect Eckart Muthesius, it was filled with some of the best examples of modern art and design of its time, including sculptures by Constantin Brancusi and design pieces by Muthesius, Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann and Eileen Gray. For the palace interior, the architect collected examples by European masters such as Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann in addition to his own work. Manik Bagh was completed after several years, emerging as a locus of design at the transitional moment when the sumptuous surface decoration that typified the 1920s was being propelled toward simple, functional forms made of industrial materials as exemplified by the Bauhaus movement. Particularly avant-garde for India, the grand yet intimate palace, was a landmark of burgeoning modernism.

Between 1929 and 1933, while in Paris, the Maharaja of Indore commissioned two portraits of himself, and two of his wife, the Maharani Shrimant Akhand Sahib Soubhagyavati Sanyogita Bai Holkar. from one of the pioneers of Art Deco, the French artist Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1881-1949). De Monvel was renowned for his etchings and oil paintings, in which he combined a stylised use of line and colour with a modern sense of composition. His portraits became the iconic representations of the distinguished society of his time, with the sitters being depicted in stylish poses and beautiful attire. The artist had been recommended to the Maharaja by Henry-Pierre Roché, the French author who was also one of the most important art dealers of the time.

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