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The Qutb Minar, Delhi. 4034

The Qutb Minar, Delhi. 4034

Artist: Anonymous

Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1833

Shelfmark: Add.Or.4034

Item number: 4034

Length: 22

Width: 28

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Drawing of the Qutb Minar in Delhi, by a Delhi artist, c.1830-35, from the collection of Mildred and W.G. Archer. Inscribed on the front: 'Kootub Minar near Delhi'.

One of the greatest monuments of Islamic architecture in India, the Qutb Minar forms part of the Quwwat al-Islam or 'Might of Islam' complex in Mehrauli in the southern suburbs of modern Delhi. The complex contains some of the earliest structures of Muslim rule in the sub-continent. Standing 72.5 metres tall, the minaret was built as a celebratory victory tower to accompany the congregational mosque. It was probably inspired in style by contemporary Afghan minarets. Inscriptions record that it was begun by Qutub-u'd-din Aibak in 1198 and completed by his successor Iltutmish in 1215, although the two upper tiers were rebuilt at later dates. The dominant material used in construction is sandstone. Four cantilevered balconies separate its five sections. The lower three storeys have broad carved bands of interwoven calligraphy and floral motifs. The drawing was made after the Qutb Minar had been repaired by Major Robert Smith of the Bengal Engineers, c.1828, since it shows the topmost cupola which had been added by him.

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