The Indian Portrait: 1560-1860
TNT exhibition review

The sweep of this exhibition spans 300 years and charts the shift in Indian art from the highly stylised and traditional to the more European-influenced.

As such, like most of the best exhibitions, it demonstrates how social, geopolitical changes were echoed by the artists of the day.

That’s not to say Indian art was without its own tensions; even within the constraints of portraiture, formal sketches of Mughal emperors in full war-dress sit alongside more surreal works where sky and sea fuse in the background.

Throughout, though, the most eye-catching parts of the exhibition are the brilliant colours. Bright yellows and piercing blues contrast with the dowdy European portraits of the same era. Like a Bollywood film, some of it remains slightly baffling, but it’s all part of the chaotic appeal.

» National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Pl, WC2H 0HE
Tube: Charing Cross
Until Jun 20
Admission: Free

Review: Tom Sturrock