This arcade was probably created for a courtyard or other protected space connected to a palace or grand building. Similar arcades are often depicted in Indian miniature paintings which show royalty and their entourages in elaborate gardens.
Aurangzeb (1618–1707) became governor of the Deccan in 1634, then ruled the Mughal empire from 1658 until his death. He was the third son of the famed emperor Shah Jahan whose grand building campaign included the commissioning of the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan is credited with widespread use of marble, rather than sandstone, as a primary material for monumental building, a tradition continued by Aurangzeb. A devout Muslim, Aurangzeb is better known for the construction of public and religious buildings, including mosques, than for ornate palace architecture.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
From: Asian gallery extended display label