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An image of Jali screens by

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India

Jali screens
Other titles:
Jali Zaroka
Place of origin
18th century
Media category
Architectural element
Materials used
yellow sandstone

222.0 x 287.0 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 1998
Accession number
Upper Asian gallery
Further information

This sandstone facade of a Jaisalmer town house or "haveli" is composed of four sections of "jali" work: two on either side of a central window. The window section is framed by narrow lotus-capital pilasters supporting a scalloped arch with foliate design. This arched window frame supports a section of an umbrella dome or "chattri". This facade is made of the local honey-coloured sandstone which is characteristic of the architecture of Jaisalmer. The elaborate and intricate "jali" work is in the design of the flowers and vegetal motifs. The term "jali" refers to the pierced ornamental screens incorporated into a window opening. The technique of "jali" provided for ventilation and sun control in the harsh desert climate of Jaisalmer. But "jalis" were also used as a way of screening the women of these households who would have lived in "purdah". This sandstone facade of a Jaisalmer town house or "haveli" is typical of the house-fronts of the wealthy Rajput nobles and merchants. The "havelis" of Jaisalmer are particularly noted for the ornate carving on their "jalis" & facades.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 1998.

Bibliography (2)

Phillip Davies, The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India: Vol. II: Islamic, Rajput, European, London, 1989.

Sotheby's Australia, Indian art and artefacts from the collection of Joan Bowers, Woollahra, 1998, 32, 46 (colour illus.). Lot 351.

Exhibition history (2)

Rajput: Sons of Kings, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Jun 2005–04 Sep 2005

Conversations through the Asian collections, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Oct 2014–05 Sep 2015