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The Tomb of Itimad-ud-dowla, Agra.

The Tomb of Itimad-ud-dowla, Agra.

Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 971/(22)

Item number: 97122

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey, showing the tomb of Itimaddaulah at Agra in India. It was built in ca. 1626 for Mirza Ghiyas Beg, a Persian who had obtained service as Lord High Treasurer in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (reigned 1556-1605). On Jahangir's succession in 1605 he was made Wazir or Chief Minister with the title of Itimad-ud-Daulah or 'Pillar of State'. Jahangir fell in love with his talented and beautiful daughter Mehrunissa who was already married. When her husband died she entered the court as lady-in-waiting and a few years later Jahangir took her in marriage. She became Noor Jahan or Light of the World, the most powerful woman in Mughal history. Noor Jahan conceived this tomb for her father and it set a precedent as the first Mughal building to be faced with white inlaid marble and contrasting stones. It is set in a square walled garden with ponds and cascades. The building is low and square in plan and has octagonal minarets at the corners which are topped by domed chattris (pavilions). The tomb is renowned for the delicacy and beauty of its decoration, the inlaid stones include yellow porphyry, agate, jasper and black marble.

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