Pierced Window Screen

Object Name: Screen

Date: second half 16th century

Geography: Made in India

Medium: Red sandstone; pierced, carved

Dimensions: H. 73 in. (185.4 cm)
W. 51 5/16 in. (130.3 cm)
Th. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
Wt: matching piece weighed 780 lbs (353.8) in crate

Classification: Stone

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1993

Accession Number: 1993.67.2


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.