LV [Lakshmi Vilas] Palace, SW 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. An immense 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, particularly 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 facade from the south-west, showing the zenana or women’s apartments.