the 16th of June 1996
and her mother had come back in 1938. In London they had met
via Dr. Radhakrishna (whom they knew well) H.H. the Maharaja
of Baroda. Although by then, they had planned and fixed
appointments for exhibitions in Paris and Munich, the aged
royal gentleman could persuade them to cancel their
commitments. On his invitation they travelled on board an
Italian vessel to India.
This ship was due to leave in three weeks time. Those
were the three weeks Elizabeth and her mother used to travel
through Germany, and stay in Hungary with their family.
As the old Maharaja of Baroda had died, Elizabeth and
her mother were moved to an artist's guest house in the
lovely Zoological Park of Baroda. True to their nature, both
mother and daughter fulfilled the late Maharaja's wish. They
painted people and place.
Dagmar carried Elizabeth back to England and asked:
"how long were you in England?" Elizabeth said,
"I believe, altogether in England and Europe we were
for about four weeks. Plus those three weeks in
Hungary." Dagmar, "so after about two months, you
started your journey back to India?" Elizabeth,
"yes, on the same ship as H.H. the Maharaja of Baroda
was travelling." Dagmar asked, "and, when you came
back to India, did you meet Tagore then?" Elizabeth,
"yes." Dagmar, "so you went straight from
Bombay to Santiniketan?" Elizabeth answered, "no.
We had to stay in Baroda for some time."
Dagmar asked, "but
why?" Elizabeth continued, "because His Highness
had advised us to go straight to Baroda. He would follow. He
had some work to attend to in Bombay. He would then show us
personally the sights in Baroda which he wanted to have
immortalised for future generations. The historical sights
as well as the way people lived in and around Baroda State.
They put us up in the Royal Guest House.
The next morning during
breakfast we got the news that the Maharaja had had a stroke
in Bombay. Now Baroda had signed a contract with the
Britishers that we will be travelling and painting there. So
once we knew that we would not be shown the sights of Baroda
by the Maharaja, which we were supposed to be painting,
mother looked all over and painted all the palaces and
ancient places of Baroda." Dagmar asked, "did your
mother ever paint the Maharaja of Baroda?" Elizabeth,
"no. But I did." Dagmar, "where are all these
paintings?" Elizabeth, "all in the Museum of
Baroda." Dagmar, "ah, nice, that is where they
Elizabeth carried on,
"then my mother decided ... You see the Maharaja on his
dying bed divided everything between all his children. He
had five sons and one daughter from his second wife. And one
son from his first wife, who would be the successor to the
throne. And he said, 'I have brought along with me from
Europe two ladies, and I am worried about them, look after
them.' But he should have said something more definite.
Because the first son had never been really interested in
We attended his coronation, though.
& child, Royputana
So we were given over to the
Museum of Baroda and its Director and we no longer had
anything to do with the Royalties. Mother enjoyed painting
the old palaces, ancient temples, avenues and sights of the
State of Baroda. They are now all in the Museum of
Baroda." Dagmar put in, "what a wonderful reason
for me to go to Baroda once again!" And Elizabeth
carried on, "so, we stayed for about three and a half
months in Baroda and then we passed over all our paintings
to the Director. The agreement was that the ready paintings
were handed over and the sketches remained with us."