Baroda Museum And Picture Gallery
Commissioned in the year 1887, the Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery is the part of the Sayaji Baug, commissioned by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III. The museum is the most famous place of recreation amongst the people of the city.
The museum was designed by architects Major Mant and Robert Chisholm and was completed in the year 1894. It was designed to resemble the Victoria and Albert Museum of London. The double-storeyed Baroda Museum is one of the most prominent examples of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture in India. The style is evident in the use of elements such as “chattiris”, torans and cusped arches, while the ground floor of the museum reflects the European influence.
The building also employs various other elements to keep the building well ventilated and lit. The roof of the building integrates innovative skylights and several punctures in its structure that the building is well lit throughout the day.
Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III had himself collected several artifacts prior to the establishment of the Baroda Museum, which he had later donated as part of the first collection based on which the museum was set up.
The collection of the museum is exhibited in 28 galleries representing collections from Japan, China, Nepal, Europe, Tibet, Egypt, Greece, Rome and a gallery solely dedicated to the Gaekwads. The vast collection represents disciplines such as Archaeology, History, Fine Arts, Industrial Arts, Ethnology, Zoology, Botany, Anthropology, Geology, Geography, Palaeontology, and Osteology. Some of the most famous artifacts from the museum are probably the Egyptian Mummy of the Egypt Gallery and the huge blue whale skeleton.
The Picture Gallery:
The famed art gallery is known to have been completed in the year 1914 but was not opened until the year 1921. The transfer of special pieces from Europe that were intended to adorn the walls of the gallery were delayed due to the First World War, which caused the delay in opening.
The European Gallery exhibits artworks like paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings of artists from Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and British schools of art among others. The collection houses many original works and several authentic master copies. A master copy of a painting from the Italian section titled ‘The Death of St. Peter Martyr’ by Tiziano Vecellio (1480–1576; better known as Titian) is a much-coveted treasure given the original, which was displayed at the Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, was lost in a fire in 1874, making this copy at the Baroda Museum the only remaining master copy of the painting.
How to get there
By Road: NH8 passes through Vadodara, making it well connected by road as well.
By Rail: The city lies on the busy Mumbai-Delhi Western Railway Mainline and is well connected by premium trains like Shatabdi and Rajdhani.
By Air: Domestic flights connect Vadodara (BDQ) to major cities in India.