Iranian / Mihrab / 755 A.H. / ca. A.D. 1354Iranian
755 A.H. / ca. A.D. 1354

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Middle Eastern; Persian
Creator Name-CRT: Iranian
Title: Mihrab
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 755
Creation End Date: 1354
Creation Date: 755 A.H. / ca. A.D. 1354
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Ceramics
Materials and Techniques: Mosaic of monochrome-glaze tiles on composite body set on plaster
Dimensions: 135 1/16 x 113 11/16 in. (343.1 x 288.7 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 39.20
Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1939

The most important element in any mosque is the mihrab, the niche that indicates the direction of Mecca. Because it functions as the focal point in prayer ritual, its decoration was executed with great skill and devotion. This example from the Madrasa Imami in Isfahan, founded in A.H. 755/A.D. 1354, is composed of a mosaic of small glazed tiles fitted together to form various geometric and floral patterns and inscriptions. The inscriptional frieze in muhaqqaq script containing sura IX:14-22 from the Qur'an runs from the bottom right to the bottom left; a second inscription, in kufic script, with sayings of the Prophet, borders the pointed arch of the niche; and a third inscription, in cursive, is set in a frame at the center of the niche. The bottom of the niche, just below the central inscription, and a substantial part of the beginning and end of the main inscription were restored by skillful potters in Isfahan in the mid-1920s.

AMICA ID: MMA_.39.20
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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