The Traveller's Eye: Photographs by William Dalrymple

1 - 30 July 2021

Grosvenor Gallery is delighted to announce its upcoming exhibition, ‘The Traveller’s Eye: Photographs by William Dalrymple. The exhibition will open with a private view on Thursday, 1 July 2021 from 6-8pm. There will also be a talk and walkthrough of the exhibition by William Dalrymple on on Saturday, 3 July at 3pm (Fully Booked), 3:30pm (Fully Booked) 4pm (Fully Booked), 4:30pm (Fully Booked). Each time slot will have a maximum of 20 people and is free to attend. Please email art@grosvenorgalery.comto book.


The Traveller’s Eye is a visual diary of black and white photographs, shot over the last couple of years by William Dalrymple during his travels and research for his two books ‘The Anarchy’ and his upcoming book ‘The Golden Road’. Dalrymple has followed the footsteps of the central characters in his books which has led him to travel extensively throughout the Indian subcontinent and modern-day Pakistan, Afghanistan and down to Sri Lanka.


From the deserted 6th century ruins at Badami to the 14th Century City of Victory, Vijayanagara Dynasty at Hampi and Thatta, the medieval city of Sindh (now in Pakistan), through to the ancient Buddhist capital of Anaradhapura in Sri Lanka, Dalrymple goes to places far off the beaten track and captures angles that only he can. These photographs will be regarded as historical documents in years to come.


While researching for his book ‘The Anarchy’ William followed the footsteps of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam, and followed his fortunes, and those of his allies and adversaries, between Delhi, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Mysore and Calcutta.  These photographs depict what is left of the world that Shah Alam knew, the places he grew up, the buildings where he formed his ambitions, and the places where his hopes came crashing to the ground.


"I have been visiting all the places where this history took place – the battlefields and ruins, the mosques, Sufi shrines and temples, the paradise gardens and pleasure grounds, the barrack blocks and townhouses, the crumbling Mughal havelis and the palaces and forts."

- William Dalrymple (Interview with National Geographic, 2019)


For his next book ‘The Golden Road’, William has travelled through the Silk Route to Afghanistan’s Logar Province to Mes Aynak, which was once the site of one of the most important Buddhist monasteries and trading settlements in Asia in the 6th century, searching for signs of India’s cultural diffusion in the early centuries of the Common Era. Recent excavations have newly-uncovered Gandharan Buddhist monasteries where lines of stucco Buddhas face onto a square stupa lined with Corinthian columns. The many such Hindu and Buddhist monuments, ruins and art works lie scattered around Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Gobi Desert. Photographs such as ‘Buddha’, ‘Fasting Buddha’ ‘Indus’ and ‘Sacred Enclosure’ all encompass this region and the spread of Indic religions and ideas across Asia.


Photographs such as ‘Bellagio’, ‘Seville’, ‘Grenada’, and ‘Cordoba’ explore his recent travels  tracing how Indian mathematics and astronomy travelled through the Arab world to the Mediterranean, where the Indian numerals we all use today were brought to Italy by Leonardo Fibonnacci .


The Exhibition continues at the gallery till Friday 30 July 2021