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Virgin Mary goes on display in Indian clothes

A rare 17th century painting of the Virgin Mary dressed in Indian clothes has gone on display at a museum in India.

The painting is part of a collection called Holy Family and can be seen at the City Palace Museum in Jaipur as part of Christmas celebrations.

Jesuit missionary Father Figudero presented the painting to the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur in 1707.

It was retouched with bright colours after courtiers ruled the European original was too sober for their taste.

In the tradition of Hindu married women, the Virgin has been depicted with a bindi, or vermillion dot, on her forehead. She is also seen wearing a Mughal style crown and hairstyle.

A visitor told the Navyug newspaper: "The Indianised portrayal shows the universal appeal of the Virgin. It offers a great deal of comfort in these divisive times."

City Palace Museum