Shah Jahan was a man of complex emotions and intense aesthetic sensibility, passionately concerned with displays of power and status. His wealth was almost without parallel, his range of interests apparently limitless - from flowers to weaponry, from art-collecting to romantic love - and his standards uncompromising. In this volume, the Taj Mahal is the starting point for an exploration of other aspects of Shah Jahan's court and a detailed examination of its architecture, painting, jewellery, objets d'art and textiles. The hundreds of splendid objects illustrated - 96 of them in superb color - have been chosen from outstanding museums and private collections worldwide.
The final chapter examines the 'myth' of the Moguls and of the Taj Mahal, which over the centuries has become a sort of icon of perfection, the Mona Lisa of architecture. Its silhouette is immediately recognizable everywhere. No amount of exposure, however, can dilute its impact or weaken its charm. A closer knowledge of its creator and of the history and background of its creation only adds to that charm and makes the legend real.
About the Authors:
Three of the authors are in the Department of Indian and Southeast Asian Art of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Dr. Pratapaditya Pal is Senior Curator; Dr. Janice Leoshko, Associate Curator; and Stephen Markel, Assistant Curator. The fourth, Dr.Joseph M. Dye,III, is curator of Asiatic Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.
Foreword Earl A. Powell III, Director
Preface and Acknowledgement Pratapaditya Pal
Introduction Pratapaditya Pal
Ruler of the world Pratapaditya Pal
Mausoleum for an empress Janice Leoshko
Artists for the emperor Joseph M. Dye, III
Jades, Jewels, and objects d'art Stephen Markel
Fabrics, Carpets, and Costumes Joseph M. Dye, III
Romance of the Taj Mahal Pratapaditya Pal
Notes of the Text
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