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Photograph - The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Agra (made)
    India (photographed)

  • Date:

    mid 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Beato, Felice (photographer)
    Beato, Felice (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen photographic print

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 131

Physical description

Direct view of the Taj Mahal, and the tomb gardens or 'chahar bagh', based on a square plan divided into four quarters by trees, paved walk ways and canals. This magnificent, white marble mausoleum was built under the rule of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658), in honour of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 after giving birth to their fourteenth child. Building began in 1631 and continued for 20 years. The tomb has a central dome flanked by four minarets and was completed by thousands of workmen and master craftsmen who contributed to its renowned splendor and beauty. The Taj Mahal is recognised as one of the finest pieces of Mughal architecture in the world.

Place of Origin

Agra (made)
India (photographed)


mid 19th century (made)


Beato, Felice (photographer)
Beato, Felice (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen photographic print


Height: 29 cm, Width: 24 cm

Object history note

Beato had a particular interest in photographing military campaigns. The rich diversity of his work in India developed after his arrival in February 1858, where he photographed the aftermath of the Indian Mutiny of 1857 and devastation in Delhi, Cawnpore and Lucknow, famous for its massacre of Europeans by the Indian army. Beato's war photographs of India range from portraits of commanding officers to vast Indian landscapes and derelict forts and palaces.

Historical context note

There is little conclusive evidence about the life of the 19th century photographer Felice A. Beato, who was born in Venice between 1825 to 1830, but became a naturalised British subject. Beato is most recognised as a war photographer where his travel from Europe provided the opportunity to record military war in India after the Mutiny of 1857, the opium wars in China in 1860 and Japan in 1862. Beato died in Burma, ca.1908-1909.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Felice Beato of The Taj Mahal, Agra, India. ca.1858.

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

Masselos, Jim and Gupta, Narayani (2000) " Beato's Delhi 1857, 1997", Ravi Dayal, Delhi.

Subjects depicted



Photographs; Architecture; Death


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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