Home » Articles » Indo-Muslim art: India’s stonework: a fusion of form and flowers

Indo-Muslim art: India’s stonework: a fusion of form and flowers

FINELY FORMED: An early example of a jalli, delicately carved with a design of flowers within interlocking hexagons

Shyam Bhatia takes a look at the intricate, previously unseen stone carvings from India’s Mughal and Sultanate eras that are soon to be displayed in London and considers their unique blend of Indian and Muslim features.


Unique examples of stone screen carving from Sultanate and Mughal India are to be exhibited this coming October in London by Sam Fogg, one of the world’s leading dealers in Indian art.

Some of the never-before-seen pieces due to be displayed include late 12th and early 13th century fragments of Sultanate friezes, as well as Mughal jallis — stone screens from the 16th  to the 18th centuries — all carved in the distinctive red sandstone of Northern India.

A jalli is the description of a perforated stone or latticed screen, often with an ornamental pattern, constructed with the use of calligraphy and geometry. Such jallis were built into the walls of palace complexes, mosques, tombs and, in the case of Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, an entire city.

The aim was to filter natural light and encourage ventilation, while simultaneously reflecting imperial power and taste. During the high period of Mughal art the imaginative designs of sandstone and marble jallis achieved a degree of sophistication and refinement not seen elsewhere.

Jallis on exhibit will range from the late Akbar period in the last quarter of the 16th century through to the Muhammad Shah period in the first half of the 18th century.

More at here

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