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From: Taj Mahal  Next Image
(Exterior of the Mausoleum)

My failure to appreciate the Taj is due, I think, to the fact that while I am very fond of architecture and the decorative arts, I am very little interested in the expensive or the picturesque, as such and by themselves. Now the great qualities of the Taj are precisely those of expensiveness and picturesqueness. Milk-white amongst its dark cypresses, flawlessly mirrored, it is positively the Toteninsel of Arnold Boecklin come true. And its costliness is fabulous. Its marbles are carved and filigreed, are patterned with an inlay of precious stones. The smallest rose of poppy on the royal tombs is an affair of twenty or thirty cornelians, onyxes, agates, chrysolites. the New Jerusalem was not much more rich in variety of precious pebbles. If the Viceroy took it into his head to build another Taj identical with the first, he would have to spend as much as a fifteenth, or even perhaps a twelfth or tenth of what he spends each year on the Indian Army. Imagination staggers. . .

--Aldous Huxley, 1926


(Exterior of the Mausoleum)My failure to appreciate the Taj is due, I think, to the fact that while I am very fond of architecture and the decorative arts, I am very little interested in the expensive or the picturesque, as such and by themselves. Now the great qualities of the Taj are precisely those of expensiveness and picturesqueness. Milk-white amongst its dark cypresses, flawlessly mirrored, it is positively the Toteninsel of Arnold Boecklin come true. And its costliness is fabulous. Its marbles are carved and filigreed, are patterned with an inlay of precious stones. The smallest rose of poppy on the royal tombs is an affair of twenty or thirty cornelians, onyxes, agates, chrysolites. the New Jerusalem was not much more rich in variety of precious pebbles. If the Viceroy took it into his head to build another Taj identical with the first, he would have to spend as much as a fifteenth, or even perhaps a twelfth or tenth of what he spends each year on the Indian Army. Imagination staggers. . .--Aldous Huxley, 1926