National Gallery of Modern Art

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National Gallery of Modern Art

Facing India Gate, this neoclassical building was built by the British in the early 20th century as a palace for the Maharaja of Jaipur. With its small dome and large, open rooms, the structure makes a fine space for this art museum, established in 1954 to preserve Indian art forms (mainly painting) that developed after 1850. A large new wing was added in 2008 so that more of the extensive collection could be displayed. The displays are attractive by local standards but are unfortunately uneven and not always well explained. Highlights are the colorful paintings of Amrita Sher-Gil (the Frida Kahlo of India) and, upstairs, the myth-inspired works of Raja Ravi Varma and the Bengali Renaissance oils and watercolors of the Tagore family, Jamini Roy, and Nandalal Bose. There are a few representative works by contemporary masters, including M. F. Husain and Ganesh Pyne. Documentaries, shown daily at 11 and 3, explain Indian art. The old wing often hosts interesting temporary or traveling exhibitions.

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