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Denis Baly

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The Timurid prayer hall to the southwest in the Friday mosque. "Of particular interest is the mihrab of Uljaytu (Oljeytu) [centre of this image], which was installed in 1310 for the Il Khanid ruler of the same name. It is found in the northwestern part of the mosque, on the exterior of the northeastern wall of the northwest iwan. Exhibiting a mastery of stuccowork of complex compositions of three-dimensional inscriptions merging with floral and geometric carvings, the whole mihrab stands as a unique element extruded from the original wall of the mosque. The mihrab is composed of an external framed arch within which is inscribed a smaller recessed framed arch, almost half in height and width. These two arches, including their frames and their "columns," which do not have a structural function, are all ornamented with carvings of inscriptions and patterns. The most external frame takes this delicate treatment to an extreme. The inscription band, as it recessed in the wall, spatially curves as if written on a convex surface; its florally-decorated and perforated background make the inscription appear to be floating in air." (Source: "Masjid-i Jami'" Archnet. Accessed April 07, 2017.


Esfahan, Iran



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