India Marble Stone
One cannot help but admire the intricacy of marble inlay work on various architectural marvels constructed by Mughals like Taj Mahal or buildings within Red Fort of Agra.
Mosaic inlay work was however prevalent in India even before the arrival of the Mughals. Colored or partly colored patterns on ceilings, walls and floors could often be seen in temples. Cups and vases with inlay work of different colors were also made. Walls were covered with large pieces of red, yellow and black stone, to make a pattern-usually geometrical.
Inlay work on delicate shives of precious stone began in the workshops of Florence in Italy around the end of the 16th century. This was known as pietra dura. The Italians had created a classic artistic form and held a monopoly over it. From 1630 onwards pietra dura appeared on moveable, small objects as decorative panels, with bird and flower motifs, suitable for cabinet fronts and table tops. Some of these soon reached the Mughals in the form of presents.
Of all the Mughal Emperors, Shah Jahan was the greatest patron of architecture in India. For him no amount of
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