The Victoria Memorial, officially the Victoria Memorial Hall, is a memorial building dedicated to Victoria, Empress of India , which is located in Kolkata (Calcutta), India – the capital of West Bengal and a former capital of British India. It currently serves as a museum and a tourist attraction. It is an autonomous organization within the Government of India's Ministry of Culture.
The Royal Gallery:
In the Royal Gallery there are oil paintings depicting scenes of Queen Victoria receiving the sacrament at her coronation in the Westminster Abbey in June 1838; her marriage with Prince Albert (1840) in the Chapel Royal at St. James' Palace; the christening of the Prince of Wales in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (1842); marriage of the Prince of Wales (Edward VII) with Princess Alexandra (1863) ; Queen Victoria at the first Jubilee service in Westminster Abbey in 1887 and the Second Jubilee service of Queen Victoria at St. Paul's Cathedral, June 1897. These are copies of paintings by well-known artists in the British Royal collection. The pianoforte on which Queen Victoria received tuition in her childhood and the writing desk and chair constantly used by her for her daily correspondence at Windsor Castle occupy the centre of the room. King Edward VII presented these to the Victoria Memorial.
The Garden of the memorial was exquisitely designed on a total area of 64 acres (0.26 km2) with the building covering an area of 338 by 228 sq ft (31.4 by 21.2 m2). On way to the north gate is a bronze statue of Queen Victoria by Sir George Frampton, R.A.(the photo shown above). The Queen is seated on her throne, wearing the robes of the Star of India. Approaching the building from the south, visitors pass the King Edward VII memorial arch with a bronze equestrian statue of the King by Sir Bertram Mackennal surmounting it and a marble statue of Lord Curzon by F.W. Pomeroy, R.A. There are also other statues of various dignitaries like Lord Bentinck, Governor- General of India (1828–1835), Lord Ripon (Governor- General of India from 1880 to 1884; the statue of Sir Rajendranath Mookerjee, the pioneer industrialist of Bengal is on the eastern side.
There are some rare books in the Library which date back to the 1870s. Some of the books worth mentioning are the collection of plays by William Shakespeare, The Arabian Nights, Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat etc. All these books are exotically illustrated. Costume designers consult and refer to these books while designing for Shakespearian plays in Calcutta. It has a good collection of books on kathak and thumri written by Nawab Wazid Ali Shah.
The Memorial is the largest repository in India for a visual history of Calcutta. It also has a major collection of paintings, sculptures and manuscripts from the British period.