Religious Places

National Art Gallery In Chennai

Written by Sudhir Kumar

National Art Galleries in Chennai are especially dedicated to the cause of preserving the cultural aspect of the city in its true colors. They are like museums where one can take a glimpse in the past, the many colorful paintings and statues belonging to different ages.

About National Art Gallery :

The National Art Gallery is located on Pantheon Road in Egmore. It is a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. The gallery was initially known as Victoria Memorial Hall.

Built of sandstone in the year 1907 by T. Namberumal Chetty, the gallery showcases medieval handicrafts, sculptures, metal ware and paintings that belong to various schools of art.

The National Art Gallery consists of four different sections, which are Tanjore Painting Gallery, Decorative Art Gallery, Indian Traditional Art Gallery and Ravi Varma Painting Gallery. The miniature paintings from the Mughal era, handicrafts from 11th and 12th centuries and Rajput paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries are also on display.

National Art Gallery Attractions :

The National Art Gallery has a vast, beautiful and exquisite display of heritage and culture from the erstwhile time in the form of sculptures, paintings, metal ware and handicrafts of the medieval era, from different schools of art.

The gallery is segmented into four sections dedicated to types of art forms. The styles and the range that the collection is divided into are: Indian Traditional Art Gallery, Tanjore Painting Gallery, Decorative Art Gallery and Ravi Varma Painting Gallery. Tanjore art illustrates the figures of Tanjore Maratha Kings and Queens and Mythological pictures from Tamil Literature. The Tanjore paintings on glass are a complete treat to the eyes.

There is a wonderful display of Indian Handicrafts that dates back to the 11th and 12th century. There are beautiful miniature paintings from the Mughal and Rajput era that are fascinating.

National Art Gallery, also known as Victoria Memorial Hall) is located in the Pantheon complex, Egmore. It is a pink sandstone building that was built in Jaipuri-Jaina style. T. Namberumal Chetty built the gallery in 1907. The gallery contains various traditions of Indian painting including the Rajput and Moghul schools. It has 11th and 12th century Indian handicrafts, 17th century Deccan paintings, 16th to 18th century Mughal and Rajasthani paintings and 10th and 13th century bronzes.

Features of National Art Gallery in Chennai :

The National Art Gallery houses some exquisite paintings dating back to the 10th century A.D. belonging to the same age are some of the bronze and panchaloka statues made from the amalgamation of five metals. Among the statues on display here, one can find the statue of the dancing Lord Shiva called Nataraja and his beloved wife Parvati.

The Paintings dating back to the 17th and 18th Century belong to Lord Krishna. Paintings of many mythological and historical characters can be well found belonging to the same era.

Other collections at the National Art Gallery in Chennai consist of glass and mica paintings belonging to Tanjore.

However what catches the eye at the National Art Gallery in Chennai is their collection of miniature paintings belonging to the royal Mughal Period. Paintings belonging to great kings like Akbar and Jahangir. Scenes depicting their holding affairs of the court are captivating.

The Rajput Paintings of the 18th and 19th century are equally attractive specimens of ancient art.

The center of attraction at the National Art Gallery however is occupied by an antique piece in the form of a carriage. He piece was a gift from the Governor of the Madras Presidency.

Overview National Art Gallery In Chennai :

The building of National Arts Gallery was built in the year 1907. This magnificient red sandstone building was designed by Henry Irwin and built by T. Namberumal Chetty. The building represents a typical Indo-Saracenic structure and was initially famous as Victoria Memorial Hall. Built with sandstone and adorned with motifs, the building bears impressions of Mughal architecture. The structure as well as the gallery collections are key factors responsible for the much credited tourist place. The gallery exhibits medieval handicrafts, sculptures, metal ware and paintings belonging to various schools of art, all from the past.

Location National Art Gallery In Chennai :

National Arts Gallery, an integral part of Government Museum is located in the Egmore region of the capital city of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. The gallery is situated on the right hand side of the Pantheon Road while travelling from the Chennai central. The Egmore Railway Station, which is located north of the gallery is less than two kilometres away and provides easy accessibility.

Facilities National Art Gallery :

Free guide service is available at 1100 and 1500 hours. Color picture postcards of bronze statues, paintings and butterflies are available at the museum shop at a nominal cost.

Visiting National Art Gallery :

The National Art Gallery is open for tourists on all days except on Friday and on National Holidays.

Timing :

9.30 am – 5 pm (Closed on Friday and National Holidays)

Telephone No :

8269638, 8261578


About the author

Sudhir Kumar

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