A View of the Taj Mahal, Signed by Koodrutoollah

Draftsman Koodrutoollah

Not on view

This watercolor depicts the most celebrated example of Indo-Islamic architecture: the Taj Mahal mausoleum built for Mumtaz Mahal (d. 1632), the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628-58) at Agra. Inscriptions indicate that this work was made in 1880 by Indian artist Koodrutoollah, who is identified as a draughtsman working for the British East India Company. This painting is characterized by a blend of European and Indian styles. The crisply linear perspective of this work is informed by European engineering drawings, and also reflects the rise of photography in the mid nineteenth century. Meanwhile the Mughal Indian aptitude for meticulous detail is seen here in the intricately depicted pietra dura floral and calligraphic inlay on the building’s facade.

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