Agra. Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb. Detail of carved soffit of arched entrance, from the interior 619
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a carved soffit at Itimad-ud-Daulah's Tomb at Agra in Uttar Pradesh, taken by Edmund William Smith, in 1893-4, from the Archaeological Survey of India. This view shows a detail of the inlay and carving on the arched entrance seen from the interior. The mausoleum was built c.1625 by Noor Jehan, the favorite wife of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir (r.1605-27) in memory of her father Ghayas-ud-din (Itimad-ud-Daulah), and contains both his and his wife's grave. The Mausoleum, a white marble rectangular building, stands in a garden on a stone platform situated on the banks of the river Jumna. The delicately carved marble screens let in light and air, and these, together with the inlaid pietra dura work on the walls and floors, make this a most beautiful building.
Smith wrote in Moghul Colour Decoration of Agra, 1901, "The soffits of the arches over the entrances are of a stalactite form in white marble, exquisitely carved with rich and delicate arabesques, which to be appreciated should be seen (Plate LXXV) [this image]. The writer knows nothing more beautiful and chaste than the soffits of these archways, which as specimens of Oriental carving of the early part of the 17th century cannot be surpassed."