Laxhmi Vilas Palace, NE View [Vadodara]
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, at Baroda, Gujarat from the Curzon Collection, taken by an unknown photographer during the 1890s. A colossal structure, it was built for the Gaekwar Sayaji Rao III (ruled 1875-1939) and was reputedly the most expensive private building erected in India in the 19th century. Originally designed by Major Charles Mant (1840-81) in an exuberant Indo-Saracenic architectural style, it was begun in 1878 and completed in 1890 after his death by Robert Fellowes Chisholm (1840-1915). Both architects were pioneers of the orientalist style, which combined Western and Eastern forms with an emphasis on arches and domes. The skyline of the palace is a fantastical mixture of bangla eaves, chhatris, a tall tower and a central cupola. This is a view of the façade from the north-east, with the tower in the centre and the portico entrance to the Durbar Hall at the right.