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Taj Mahal: Tomb Interior, carving by screen

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Taj Mahal: Tomb Interior, carving by screen
Author(s): Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Mughal Architecture-- Agra-- Taj Mahal, Agra;architecture;architectural ornament
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: The whole interior of the Taj Mahal is richly decorated, almost as if the Shah had wished to conceal his most lavish furnishings within, for the exterior in its purity does not betray such exuberance. The keynote describing the interior is rather outspoken in its Indian taste
floral ornaments are livelier, alluding to the times when Hindu architecture literally exploded in organic forms. A more subdued personality characterises these latter-day temple motifs, however. Flower forms were always naturalistically handled in Indian art, and rarely were even the smallest details overlooked with respect to perfection or organization. After coming in contact with Islamic ideas, the flower and vegetal designs adapted themselves to more systematic arrangements. This is evident in the symmetrical design of the flowers, shown in this detail of the baseboard tiles on the interior of the Taj. Balanced compositionally, these organic subjects are suggestive of the most carefully planned system of decoration for which the Taj Mahal is particularly famous. They are rich without being grotesque. Around the main tile are more geometrically conceived floral patterns reflecting the symmetry of the inner motif. None of the delicacy is lost by these symmetrical measures.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-2628


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