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Mausoleum of Akbar, Sikandra 1748

Mausoleum of Akbar, Sikandra 1748

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1817

Shelfmark: Add.Or.1748

Item number: 1748

Length: 69.2

Width: 47.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour, by an anonymous artist, of a corner view of the Mausoleum of Akbar at Sikandra, dated c.1817. The mausoleum of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) is set in a large square garden surrounded by battlemented walls with a red sandstone gateway at the centre of each of the four sides. The ground-level storey of the mausoleum comprises a set of arched recesses with a high recessed arch or 'pishtaq' at the centre of each side topped by an ornamental marble kiosk. The burial chamber lies deep within the building. On the top storey, surrounded by a marble screen, is a cenotaph placed exactly above the grave further below. It is carved from a single block of marble and inscribed with the ninety-nine names of Allah. During Akbar's reign he encouraged a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic artistic traditions. His tomb may be seen as a culmination of this style in its combined use of imported arcuate and local trabeate methods of construction. The building remained unfinished at his death and was completed by his son Jahangir.

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