Agra. Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb. Detail of perpendicular panels in mosaic upon the exterior walls, from the east
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a detail of the inlay work at Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb at Agra, taken by Edmund William Smith in 1893-4, from the Archaeological Survey of India. This view shows the perpendicular mosaic panels upon the exterior walls, from the east. 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 entire façades from the plinth to the parapet are overlaid with mosaic...Between the top of the dado and and the cornice around the roof, the faces of the walls are cut up by archways and and panels veneered with rich geometrical designs in marble mosaic bounded by floral borders in "pietra-dura" or inlaid work. Some of the designs are very beautiful, and a sample of one of the panels is delineated on Plate LXXVI [this image]. It will be observed how curiously and ingeniously the patterns are worked at the top and bottom of the panels."