Topographical drawings of the mausoleum of Itimâd-ud-Daulâ, Agra, India
Watercolour on paper
RIBA No. SB78/7(1)
This mausoleum, or tomb, was built betweeen 1622 and 1628 in honour of the father of Nur Jahan, wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahagir. He had been given the title of Itimâd-ud-Daulâ (pillar of the state). The building has been described as a 'jewel box' or as the 'Baby Taj', because it was a precursor for the larger Taj Mahal.
The mausoleum is almost symmetrical. It was made from white marble inlaid with precious stones including cornelian, jasper, lapis lazuli, onyx and topaz. There are patterns of flowering plants within the arches; a popular decorative device found in many objects from this period. Sunlight enters the building through perforated stone 'jali' screens, carved in ornamental patterns. Drawings such as these were made by Indian draughtsmen for British officials working in India, as an artistic record of the great monuments of the Mughal Empire.