William Dalrymple | In Search of Ancient India: D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi

8 October - 3 November 2021

William Dalrymple
In Search of Ancient India

8 October – 3 November 2021

Monday – Saturday | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Vadehra Art Gallery

D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110024


Vadehra Art Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of artist William Dalrymple titled In Search of Ancient India opening on 8 October 2021. The show will be on view till 3 November 2021.


The photographs exhibited in this show record the first stage of the travels and research for William Dalrymple’s project, The Golden Road, which aims to record the artistic and cultural achievements of ancient India and show how their influence diffused out over first Asia and then the rest of the world. This first glimpse shows his travels around India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; future shows will extend the project around the rest of South East Asia. From the gorgeous Bodhisattvas of Gandhara through the Kushan and Gupta masterpieces of northern India to the great Chalukya temples of Karnataka, the Pallava sculptures of Tamil Nadu and the stupas of Sri Lanka, In Search of Ancient India explores one of the world’s greatest civilizations at its most creative and self-confident.


We’re happy to welcome visitors to the gallery, where we’re undertaking all safety protocols, and are also pleased to make engaging with the show a virtual possibility as well. To view the show virtually, please visit our website for a multi-dimensional mapping of the show. An e-catalogue is also available on request. For all inquiries, please write to art@vadehraart.com.



Born in Scotland in 1965, WILLIAM DALRYMPLE is a Scottish historian and writer, art historian and curator, as well as a prominent broadcaster and critic. He was educated at Ampleforth and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was first history exhibitioner then senior history scholar.

William’s books include From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East; Nine Lives: in Search of the Sacred in Modern India; The Last Mughal; White Mughals; and Return of a King: The Battle of Afghanistan (which has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson, Duff Cooper and PEN Hessel-Tiltman prizes).

William Dalrymple is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Geographical Society and of the Royal Asiatic Society, and is a founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, the Guardian, the TLS, and the New York Review of Books, and is the India correspondent of the New Statesman.

In a suite of black-and-white photographs, shot over two years, William Dalrymple brings elegance, inquiry and grace to the photographic form. Powerful and precise, the pictures in ‘The Writer’s Eye’ Exhibition are documents of landscape, conveying potent solitude and brooding strokes. He returns to a visual medium he first worked with in collegiate days, armed now with over two decades of writerly composure. Curated by bestselling writer and Sensorium Festival co-founder, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, ‘The Writer’s Eye’ was exhibited at Sunaparanta: Goa Centre for the Arts in March 2016; Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, in March 2016; and Grosvenor Gallery, London, in June 2016.

Dalrymple lives and works between India and Scotland.


Established in 1987, Vadehra Art Gallery is among the most well-respected art galleries in India representing a roster of artists spanning four generations. Modern masters like M.F. Husain, Ram Kumar, S.H. Raza and Tyeb Mehta find prime spot in the gallery’s calendar alongside the subsequent generation of modernists like Arpita Singh, Nalani Malani, Gulammohammed Sheikh and Rameshwar Broota. VAG’s contemporary programme includes some of the most exciting names in Indian art such as Atul Dodiya, Shilpa Gupta, Anju Dodiya, N.S. Harsha, Jagannath Panda, as well as young emerging talent. As a key artistic interlocutor to audiences in India the gallery expanded its exhibition programme in 2007 to exhibit important names from the international contemporary art scene. Since then VAG has exhibited works of significant international artists including Yoko Ono, Wolfgang Laib, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Vadehra Art Gallery ventured into publishing in 1996, finding a crucial need for adequate documentation, critical writing, and quality reproduction of images. In the last two decades the gallery has published hundreds of illustrated exhibition catalogues, and several important artist monographs, some in collaboration with international publishing house, Prestel.