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  • Place of origin:

    Agra (probably, made)

  • Date:

    19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pink sandstone, carved and pierced

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This openwork panel (jali) is made of carved pink sandstone and is in the style of those found on royal monuments of the Mughal emperors, notably those of the city of Fathpur Sikri that Akbar (r. 1556-1605) founded in the 1570s near Agra. The pierced screen is known as a "jali" and they were used to great visual effect in Mughal architecture. They had the practical purpose of providing privacy, especially to the women of the court, and shade from sunlight while allowing for the passage of cool air. They usually have geometric decorative schemes which, while based on simple combinations of basic forms such as the square, circle and hexagon, set up a visual counterpoint in which rhythmically organised patterns baffle the eye. This example was probably copied in the 19th century from original screens in Agra or Delhi.

Physical description

This carved and pierced panel was copied from the late 16th or early 17th century originals at the Mughal cities of Agra or Fatehpur Sikri. It would often be used to screen the royal ladies from view, while allowing them to observe.

Place of Origin

Agra (probably, made)


19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Pink sandstone, carved and pierced


Height: 62.5 cm, Width: 55.5 cm

Object history note

Possibly commissioned or bought by Caspar Purdon Clarke during his Indian purchasing tour of 1882-1883.

Descriptive line

Open work panel Jali screen, Agra, 19th century.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

p. 72, cat. no. 55
Swallow, D., Stronge, S., Crill, R., Koezuka, T., editor and translator, "The Art of the Indian Courts. Miniature Painting and Decorative Arts", Victoria & Albert Museum and NHK Kinki Media Plan, 1993.



Subjects depicted

Geometric patterns


Architectural fittings


South & South East Asia Collection

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