Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara

Built 1878-90 by Major Charles Mant and Robert Fellowes Chisolm (who took over for Mant in 1881 after his death) for H.H. Maharaja Gaikwar, parts of this building remain the residence of the ruling family of India's Baroda State. It is also open as a tourist attraction to the public.

The grand Darbar Hall (measuring 92 feet long by 54 feet wide by 48 feet high, on the left of the above picture) - used for concerts or other cultural events - contains a total of 8,000 square feet of Salviati mosaics on wall decorations, as well as the marble flooring, which took twelve men eighteen months to set.

The window arches are decorated with golden floral motifs. A local Indian draftsman named Mr. Hasjee may have been responsible for the designs, which were interpreted by the Venetian mosaicists.

Several life-sized, mosaic figures of women adorn the palace's entrance on the exterior of Darbar Hall.


An outdoor mosaic (approximately 15 feet high and 12 feet wide) features a bridal scene with Christian overtones, including an angel.

Art Fact
Barr, Sheldon. Venetian Glass Mosaics: 1860-1917. London: Antique Collectors' Guide, 2008. 126.
Mosaic Atlas
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Journal, Vol. 3, 1896. 426.
Special thanks to Richard Davis for his pictures, as well as first-hand information regarding these lovely mosaics.

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