Like his father had before him, Shah Jahan rebels his way to power. He is nonetheless legitimate and carries a strong sense of his Mughal heritage. Developments in the Deccan will demand a great deal of his attention as Emperor, much as it had while he was Prince. At court, the tradition of luxury will be carried on as before but where Jahangir took a personal interest in paintings, Shah Jahan’s domain of connoisseurship will be architecture and ambitious town plans. He does not ignore the visual arts all together; he demonstrates a bias for portraitures, rich colours and gilding. He takes particular interest in jewels, a subject on which he is a respected authority.
He will leave his aesthetic mark in three spectacular commissions – a city, a marble memorial and a golden throne. He will be known as The Builder of Marvels. (Image Source: V&A Museum, South and South East Asian Collection)