Moti Masjid Pearl Mosque, Agra Fort - Early 19th-century Indian Company painting


An original early 19th-century watercolour painting, Moti Masjid Pearl Mosque, Agra Fort.

A beautifully intricate and intensely coloured Indian Company school miniature in ink and watercolour. This painting shows the courtyard of the elegant Moti Masjid, the main mosque within the Agra Fort complex. Known as the ‘Pearl Mosque’ due to its extensive use of white marble facing, it is celebrated for its tranquility and perfect proportions, and is deemed one of the best and most refined buildings of Shah Jahan architecture.

The mosque was built inside the Agra fort in 1654 during the reign of Shah Jahan (r.1627-1558). Originally built principally as a military establishment by Akbar in 1565, the red sandstone fort at Agra was partially converted into a palace during Shah Jahan's time.

The paper is backed by a pink album page (not visible as cut to the same size) then has been laid down on a further album page backing.

Unsigned. Inscribed below in Persian characters.
There are some minor marks and age toning to the paper, mainly to the margins outside of the image. Some light smudging to the ink border at the right, as created. Slight wrinkling to the paper where it is glued to the backing paper. Please see photos for detail.
9.3cm x 13.6cm.

This painting, which came from a 19th-century British album, is a fine example of an Indian Company miniature painting, produced for Western patrons in India in the 19th century, many of whom were working for the East India Company. It displays the striking hybrid techniques which led to the categorisation of the ‘Company’ style as a School. As an objective architectural elevation it uniquely combines scientific European rationalism with the attention to detail and intense colouring of the Mughal miniature tradition.

This painting is one of a pair that we have for sale, the other miniature showing the Asfi mosque at Bara Imambara complex, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (see stock code: JM-751).

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Product code: JM-752

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