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Interior of the Taj Mahal, Agra, showing the cenotaph chamber.

Interior of the Taj Mahal, Agra, showing the cenotaph chamber.

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1808

Shelfmark: Add.Or.1909

Item number: 1909

Length: 68.2

Width: 51.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour of the interior of the Taj Mahal, Agra in Uttar Pradesh showing the cenotaph chamber. The Taj Mahal was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-58) in memory of his favourite wife Arjumand Banu Begum upon her death in 1631. Constructed of brick and faced in India’s finest marble, quarried at Makrana near Jodhpur, it took 12 years to build involving 20,000 craftsmen from all over Asia. The tomb and accompanying buildings are organised around a garden divided into four parts by raised walkways with water channels at their centres. The domed white marble mausoleum stands on a plinth with tapering minarets on each corner. There is a high recessed arch or 'pishtaq' at the centre of each of the building's four facades; each central niche is flanked by further small double arches. Inlaid coloured marbles and gemstones in floral designs embellish the exterior and interior of the building. Its harmonious proportions and the high quality of its craftsmanship have made the Taj Mahal one of the most famous buildings in the world. This view shows the central chamber of the tomb with the octagonal screen surrounding the cenotaphs of Shah Jahan, who was also buried here, and his wife.
Inscribed on the front: 'Inside View of the Tage Mhal.'

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