Jali: Lattice of Divine Light in Mughal Architecture and Ornament

Thursday, April 1, 2021
6 pm | Virtual

Navina Haidar, the Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah Curator in Charge of Islamic Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The jali, or pierced lattice screen, is an exquisite feature of Indian architecture, reaching a stylistic pinnacle in the Mughal age (1526-1847). Carved and pierced screens came to be integral to the multi-faceted decorative program of Mughal spaces where they appear framed within dressed walls, elegantly set into receding vistas, or dividing and connecting chambers. This talk will discuss the jali screen and the symbolism of filtered light in Indian and Islamic architecture, as well as contemporary art. Over fifty important sites have been photographed for an upcoming new volume on this little-known subject.