USI-CAFHR has partnered with Alliance Française de Delhi to organise a series of exhibitions and seminars highlighting aspects of the historical French military influences in India in the period c.1750-1850. The project titled ‘Rajas, Nawabs and Firangees’, showcased Indian manuscripts and miniature paintings in French archives and similar material with a French connection held by Indian institutions.
An exhibition was held at the National Museum, New Delhi between 15 November and 14 December 2019. The exhibition included double portraits invoked relations of twelve Francophone officers who served with Indian princes, as well as sacred texts of India at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) and the Institut francais de Pondicherry (IFP). The exhibition curated highlights of the wealth of exchanges and reciprocal influences between India and France between 1750 and 1850 in the military, artistic, and scientific domains.
A number of manuscripts and, around a hundred unpublished miniatures were showcased for the first time to the Indian and French public. The exhibition also included Company paintings of Indian painters commissioned by French officers and representatives.