Wednesday, 2 August 2017

History of Mughal Inlay Art :Inlay Marble Crafts

                          History of Mughal  Inlay Art
History of Mughal  Inlay Art by Inlay Marble Crafts.
This is study of the INLAY art as it developed in Mughal Architecture,from Humayun to Shah Jahan indigenously, and independent of any extraneous inspiration or influence, landmark examples whereof have been cited with illustrations (64 b&w and 16 colour plates). It is wrong to brand it: pietra-dura or pietre-dure which misnomer was pasted upon it by nineteenth and early twentieth century colonial historians who suffered by a sense of inherent superiority of European culture and art, and who could not believe that the Indian people, whom Macaulay fondly called 'semi-savage,' could develop such a fine and exquisite art as this, which even the classical Greeks and the Romans, who also worked in marbles, could not do!
History of Mughal Inlay Art
The claim that Mughal inlay had a Florentine origin was based on the Orpheus Plaques which are the solitary example of Florentine pietra-dura in Mughal Architecture.As has been discussed in this work, these plaques were imported ready-made and placed in the Throne-Balcony (Jharokha) of the Diwan-i-Am of Red Fort Delhi, between 1707, after the death of Aurangzeb, and 1824, when Bishop Heber saw them there for the first time, and mentioned them in his travelogue.Florentine pietra-dura had different material, different technique, different motifs and, above all, different background on which it was used. Pietra-dura was a picture-art used on wooden cabinets and other furniture, and it could exist without its background. In contra-distinction,Mughal inlay was exclusively an architectural ornament used on plinths, pavements and water-basins; on dados, spandrels or arches and other mural surface; pillars, brackets and lintels; and minars, domes and other architectural members, without which it cannot exist. Mughal inlay is integral to the architectural space it covers, while pietra-dura plaques are, more or less, pictures which can be used independent of any architecture, e.g., on wooden furniture. INLAY (pachchikari or parchinkari) is the distinctive ornamentation of Mughal Architecture as Glazed-tiling(kashikari) was of Iranian Architecture and Glass-mosaic (shishakari) was of Byzantine Architecture. It is also the most distinctive characteristic of the Shahjehanian phase of Mughal Architecture which marks the zenith of this style.A historical appraisal of the evolutionary process of its growth and development, to the elegance of the Taj dados,aptly called the chef d'oeu-vre of Indian art, is absolutely needed for a thorough understanding and appreciation of its originality and creativeness, over and above the misnomers imposed upon it by European authors.
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