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Gate of Ali Ud Deen [Alai Darwaza]. Kutub. Delhi. India. 15 Novr. 1878

Gate of Ali Ud Deen [Alai Darwaza]. Kutub. Delhi. India. 15 Novr. 1878

Artist: North, Marianne (1830-1890)

Medium: Oil on paper

Date: 1878

Shelfmark: WD3241

Item number: 3241

Length: 29.1

Width: 50.7

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Painting

Oil painting on paper of the Gate of Ali Ud Din at Delhi by Marianne North (1830-1890), dated 15 Novr. 1878. Marianne North visited India in 1877-79 and completed over 200 paintings whilst there. She wrote in Volume II of 'Recollections of a Happy Life', "I...settled myself in the bungalow which had been made in one of the old gate-towers, under the shade of the Kutab, the highest tower in the world...which reminded me of the American sequoias...It has the same swell at the base, the same gradual tapering to the top, and I thnk it is one of the few buildings which really looks its full size. But all its surroundings are mere dwarfs...The Gate of Ala ud Din was the gem of all; the details and lace-work of stone and marble, and the beauty of general design, surpassing any building I had yet seen in India." The painting shows the gateway to the mosque extension built by Ala-u'd-din Khalji in around 1300 onto the existing Quwwat al-Islam mosque dating to a century earlier. Its red sandstone and white marble facing became a characteristic feature of much Islamic architecture in South Asia and was particularly favoured by the Mughal emperors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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