Jalis, or pierced screens, were used extensively in Indian architecture as windows, room dividers, and railings. In the course of the day, the movement of their patterns in silhouette across the floor would enhance the pleasure of their intricate geometry. This jali, one of a pair, would have formed part of a series of windows set in an outside wall, as suggested by the weathering on one side. They are attributed to the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1550–1605), when red sandstone was the favored building material.
Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. pp. 12, 14.