Art work inspirations from The Taj mahal

An edifice dedicated to love, Taj Mahal, the undisputed architectural wonder, is known worldwide for its grandeur and magnificence. This more than 350 years old structure till today carries the romantic aura around and spellbound its visitors.

Master craftsmen specializing in the fine art of setting gems- and semi-precious stones in marble, known as “pietra dura”, built the Taj during the Golden Age of Mughal India.

Centuries have passed, but this exquisite art form is alive in the hands of the descendants of the great artists who gave us this fabulous monument of unexcelled elegance and unmatched perfection.

A Brief History of Marble Inlay (Pietra Dura) work
Taj architecture -blend of Victorian, Islamic & Indian arts
Inlay work on marble, also known as Pietra Dura , a word derived from the Italian Language (meaning “hard stone” ), is the technique of engraving artistic designs in marble, and filling the troughs with finely cut precious / semi-precious stones ; It is the knowledge, which has been passed on by master craftsmen to their ablest of progeny since 500 B.C .

At present this art has an impression of 3 ancient civilizations upon it . As Romans first created this art, it is very much visible at the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Florence . Since then, it has traveled from Rome to Persia and then to India .

Before Taj Mahal, a building that was known as the Etmad-ud-daula , (also called “Baby Taj”) had been built by Empress Noor-Jahan in the memory of her late father who hailed from Persia . She introduced the art of marble inlay work in this monument for the first time in India . Shahjahan took the inspiration of the Pietra Dura from this monument and sent his artisans to Persia to study more about this art form and to bring back the finest artisans from Persia .

So this art has been influenced by three major and ancient contemporary civilizations. This is highly evident in the specific areas i.e . the technique for this art is Roman, theme is Persian (signifying Floral – garden- nature) and the pattern & design is Indian (based on symmetry – harmony – elegance ) . Inlay Work is a synchronization of the semi precious stones of different colors in harmony.

Existence of Pietra Dura Art at Present
A living heritage

This exquisite art form is alive in the hands of the descendants of the great artists who settled down in Agra while creating this unmatched monument of perfection Taj Mahal and thus use the same ancient styles and techniques of craftsmanship and design.more than 20,000 artisans drawn from all over the
world spent nearly 20 years in crafting the Taj Mahal in the seventeenth century and most of them settled down in Agra during this period.

Since then this exclusive art of Pietra Dura has been the cultural heritage of the city of Agra.It would not be an overstatement to say that the art of Pietra Dura runs in the blood of artisans. They are themselves treasure chests. It is their masterly skills and immaculate craftsmanship, which sustains this blending of gemstone into marble.

Pietra Dura in Agra is a living heritage.

What makes Pietra Dura unique & distinct ?
This irradiant artwork makes every piece exclusive and rare. Nature ordains that no two-semi precious stones will have the same texture, color, radiance and luster. Identical or very similar recreation of inlay work is impossible if natural semi precious stones are supposed to be used. Even if the patterns are copied, it is impossible to imitate the complexion of the semi precious stones, as all semi precious stones are natural. Therefore truly unique, the only one of its kind. Each semi precious stone is genuine for its purity.

Take it and pass it on to your next generation.
Semi-precious stones used in Marble Inlay Work
Some of the semi-precious stones often utilized in Marble Inlay Work are
  • Jade from Australia
  • Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan
  • Agate from Myanmar
  • Travertine from Italy
  • Jumbo from Italy
  • Petrified Wood –A stone from the Amazon River in South America
  • Pyzer form Australia
  • Ratak from India etc
Indus Valley seeks to bring the romance of the Taj Mahal to new corners of the world.

We at Indus valley , with our experienced designers and artisans have taken this ancient pietra dura art form one step further by creating patterns and stone combinations that reflect your vision and enhance the beauty of your surroundings.

We at Indus valley expertise in manufacturing :

  • Architectural &
  • Landscaping products
  • Kitchen &
  • bath products
  • & a wide range of artifacts/handicrafts/ collectibles /gift accessories...Inspired from Taj Mahal artwork & Mughal (Mogul) era structures.
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