New York : Abbeville Press, 1993. Hardcover. 232 pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Built between 1632 and 1643 by the D Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is unquestionably the most renowned mausoleum in the world. Now this legendary monument to love can be seen as no visitor to the site has ever viewed it. On the pages of this exquisitely illustrated volume, the Taj Mahal is revealed detail by detail. Starting inside the mausoleum, a sequence of closeups shows the semiprecious stones inlaid in white marble that form the mesmerizing rhythms of the interior's floral patterns and Qur'anic calligraphy. The next sequence of images presents the octagonal plan of the structure, emphasizing both its perfect symmetry and its subtle variations, depending on time of day, season, and camera angle. The final sequence is devoted to the decorative patterns carved in the red sandstone walls of the mosque and entrance gate. In addition, four lavish fold-out photographs show the entire Taj Mahal complex from different perspectives.
In their informative texts, authors Amina Okada and M. C. Joshi provide historical and architectural analyses of the Taj Mahal. Quotations from the Qur'an and from the journals of travelers as diverse as Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, Pierre Loti, and Aldous Huxley complete a breathtaking tribute to the structure that, in the words of Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, rises above the banks of the Yamuna River "like a solitary tear on the cheek of time."
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