Now that summer is over and Urban Sketcher gatherings are in cold weather mode, I decided to explore new avenues for creativity. Curious about SAM’s current exhibition, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India, I ordered a ticket and went to the exhibit with a sketchbook, pencil, and pen. My intention was to sketch objects of interest. The size of the collection and the amount of information provided requires time and concentration. To educate myself further, I’ll get another ticket for another day. Today I followed through with my original intention of sketching. Finishing the drawings at the museum, I added color at home because there were so many people and a lot of guards!
The first thing to greet visitors is Mahadol (Palanquin) ca. 1700-30 Used to transport rulers during festivals, it’s called a portable palace. Powered by twelve men, it is now a show stopper.
|Mahadol (Palanquin) ca. 1700-30|
There are many examples of arms and armor. Intrigued by the daggers and swords, the ones with designs including animals and flora are remarkable.
|Sword with dragon and rabbit|
An entire military tent fills one museum room. A mobile palace, the Lal Dera dates from 1659. Made of red velvet and intricately embroidered, the colors are regally symbolic and the interior looks extravagantly comfortable
|Lal Dera, a military tent|
On another level, the exhibition continues with a large video projection of scenes from a festival or wedding. Examples of turbans, musical instruments and elaborate methods of transportation fill the room. An ornate riding seat has a red and ochre fringed parasol to protect passengers against the sun. A velvet persimmon colored seat, heavily carved botanical decorations, and a large tiger with menacing eyes complete the ambitious construction.
An elephant mannequin dressed for a wedding procession wears opulent textiles and has reserved seating, The rich shades of red suggests this is no ordinary wedding.
Peacock in the Desert is an opportunity to see historical art from a royal museum in India without having to fly half-way around the world!