Click here to skip to content

Side elevation of Arjumand Banu Begum's cenotaph, Taj Mahal, Agra

Side elevation of Arjumand Banu Begum's cenotaph, Taj Mahal, Agra

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1810

Shelfmark: Add.Or.1776

Item number: 1776

Length: 105

Width: 42.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour of the side elevation of Arjumand Banu Begum's cenotaph in the Taj Mahal, Agra, by an anonymous artist working in the Agra style, part of the East Collection, c. 1808-1820.

The Taj Mahal was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-58) for his favourite wife Arjumand Banu Begum upon her death in 1631. Constructed of 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 pietra dura was done with thousands of imported precious and semi-precious stones arranged in floral designs that embellish the exterior and interior of the building. The domed white marble mausoleum stands on a plinth with tapering minarets on each corner. Its harmonious proportions and exquisite craftsmanship have made the Taj Mahal one of the wonders of the world. Arjumand Banu Begum's cenotaph is located in the central chamber of the mausoleum and is covered in pietra dura work, as can be seen in this drawing. The top of her cenotaph is decorated with calligraphy.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: