Twenty five years ago when Naveen Sharma was 17 years old, he visited Agra with a few friends. At that time he did not realize that setting his eyes upon the iconic Taj Mahal would change the course of his life. Captivated by the beauty of the white tomb, Sharma decided to replicate its grandeur on canvas. And what followed is a work of art that has fascinated many across Delhi who visit the trade fair.
Occupying a small area in the Rajasthan pavilion of the trade fair are two paintings that have grabbed the attention of many. It is confusing to see passers-by scanning a painting with a magnifying glass, which on face seems like a regular painting of the Taj Mahal.
Encased in a 20-inch by 24-inch wooden frame using the Mughal School of miniature painting is the iconic monument with brush strokes pictorially documenting the series of events that occurred around the construction of the Taj Mahal.
There are 20 tablets bordering the main structure. Each painted tablet connects with each other to tell a story. Beginning with Emperor Shah Jahan, the story shows the artists’ designs. Then it proceeds to the foundation laying, consultation with elders, kiln construction to tax implementation by the emperor in order to cover resource shortage.
The hand-painted story ends with his son Aurangzeb rebelling and imprisoning Shah Jahan who later died gazing at the white marble tomb.
All this along with 10,000 micro Taj Mahals, six Great Mughals and 230 other buildings constructed by the dynasty were hand painted by Sharma using a one-hair brush. He started the piece in 2006 and completed it in 2010. It took Sharma 4,900 hours to complete this intricate work of art.
*Elements of this story excerpted from “Mini strokes paint Taj Mahal story” – The Times of India