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The great court of the Fort, Agra.

The great court of the Fort, Agra.

Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 971/(21)

Item number: 97121

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey. The Agra fort was built during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (ruled 1556-1605). He had begun his rule from Delhi, but then decided to make Agra his capital. With this end, he built many fine structures in Agra and made it the grandest city of the empire, much praised by contemporary chroniclers and foreign travellers. The fort was built over a period of 14 years (1565-79) and combines great architectural beauty with military strength and soundness. This view looks north-west across the open space in front of the Diwan-i-Am (Hall of Public Audience, dating from Shah Jahan's period in the 1630s) towards the domes of the Moti Masjid (the Pearl Mosque, also from Shah Jahan's reign, completed in 1654), with cannons, pyramids of cannonballs and other military ordnance stacked in the foreground. The description affixed to this photograph prepared under the supervision of James Fergusson says: 'On the right is the Dewan-i-am, or great hall of audience of Shah Jehan, now converted into an armoury. In the foreground is the tomb of Mr Colvin, the Lieut.-Governor of the North-West Provinces, who died during the mutiny. In the background is the Motee Musjid, built by Shah Jehan and considered the most elegant mosque of his age. The enclosing walls and gates are of red sandstone, but the arcades and mosque surrounding the courtyard are of marble.'

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