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The Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery

This museum is located in Sayaji Bagh, a garden that is popular with the inhabitants of Baroda (Vadodara), who picnic and stroll there. The collection in the museum belongs largely to the former ruler of the state, Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III. During British rule it was the fashion for Indian rulers to take a keen interest in European art. On their travels and holidays abroad they collected paintings and sculpture as well as acquired many Western habits and customs. The outcome of these royal pastimes was a random collection of strange (often peculiar) art objects from all parts of the world. The palaces of many Indian princes became cluttered with these acquisitions and came to resemble poorly planned storerooms. Simplicity was forsaken for opulence, and the former elegance of Indian royalty was reduced to vulgar display.

This museum was opened in 1921 and additions and changes have been made periodically, but the 'cluttered look' continues to dominate the museum galleries. On the ground floor are rooms with the European Art collection, where Greek and Roman sculpture rub shoulders with paintings of a variety of European schools. There are galleries with displays of Asian Art from Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China and Japan - bronzes, ivory and pottery, and a painted gilt wooden statue of the Bodhisattva. There are samples of art objects, especially manuscripts from Persia, Turkey and Japan.

The Indian Art Section has one part devoted to prehistoric artifacts. Some objects are from Graeco-Roman trading centres in Gujarat, like Broach. A bronze Roman jar of the second century is one of the prized possessions of this museum. the Indian Painting gallery has a noteworthy sample of Indian painted manuscripts from Rajasthan and the Hill schools, portraits of various maharajas, a Ragamala series, illustrations to the Bhagavad Purana and others. The museum also has special galleries for its natural history, geological and zoological collections. The museum also has a collection of Indian miniatures, European oil-paintings and objects from Japan, Tibet and Nepal.

Address : Baroda Museum And Picture Gallery, Sayaji Park, Vadodara, Gujrat.

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