Built between 1632 and 1643 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is unquestionably the most renowned mausoleum in the world. Now this legendary monument to love can be seen as no visitor to the site has ever viewed it. On the pages of this exquisitely illustrated volume, the Taj Mahal is revealed detail by detail. Starting inside the mausoleum, a sequence of closeups show the semiprecious stones, inlaid in white marble, that form the interior's Koranic calligraphy and floral patterns. The next sequence of images presents the octogonal plan of the structure, emphasizing both its perfect symmetry and its subtle variations. The final sequence is devoted to the decorative patterns carved in the walls of the mosque and entrance gate. In addition, four lavish fold-out photographs show the entire Taj Mahal complex from different perspectives. In their informative texts, authors Amina Okada and M.C. Joshi provide historical and architectural analyses of the Taj Mahal. Quotations from the Koran and from the journals of travelers as diverse as Jean-Bapiste Tavernier, Pierre Loti, and Aldous Huxley complete a breathtaking tribute.
Amina Okada, curator of the Musee National des Arts Asiatiques Guimet in Paris, is the author of numerous books and articles on Mughal India. Dr. M.C. Joshiis a member of the Archaeological Survey of India in New Delhi. Jean-Louise Nou captured the beauty of India in many books, including The Art of India. He died in 1992.
Introduction by Amina Okada Illustrations: Interior of the Mausoleum; Exterior of the Mausoleum; The Mosque and the Guest House; Main Gate On the Lesser-Known Aspects of the Taj Mahal by M. C. Joshi Map of Agra Architectural Plan of the Taj Mahal Architecture of the Mughal Empire Glossary Quranic Passages Inscribed on the Taj Mahal Sura 67: al Mulk, "The Dominion" Bibliography
"It is not just the sweep but the detail that makes Taj Mahal so enveloping, as the glorious filigreed stonework and calligraphic mosaics are freshly jeweled by the color images of the late master of Indian photography." -- The San Diego Union-Tribune "The most astonishing of Nou's photographs are close-ups of the floral inlays that run riot in the mausoleum's luminous and arabesque interior. Every surface is alive with the grace of flowers and the animated strokes of Qur'anic calligraphy. Nou's impressive exterior shots display the opulence of the entire building, as well as the compound's earthier but still quite majestic mosque, lavish gardens, and stately main gate. A fresh and artful look at one of the wonders of the world." -- Booklist
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