Red Sandstone Pierced Screen (Jali)
This red sandstone jali screen of rectangular form features a central latticework design consisting of carved, interlocking geometric cartouches. The lattice is surmounted by a pointed arch and a single flower, while each spandrel holds a raised floral rosette. The lower portion of the screen is decorated with a series of raised columns, each one topped with an ogival cartouche.
Jali screens were commonly found in Mughal Indian architecture, serving as windows or dividers between rooms. They offered the practical function of keeping the interior of a building cool, as the holes in the screen allowed for air to pass through and circulate. Additionally, the light passing through the carved geometric decoration resulted in beautiful shadows exhibited across the walls and floors, which would move and shift throughout the day. The use of red sandstone was particularly favoured from as early as the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar (1550-1605).