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Denis Baly

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Exquisite decoration on the panels of the entrance portal. Of the decoration, Blair and Bloom write: "Above the continuous marble dado, all vertical surfaces, both exterior and interior, are clad in polychrome glazed tile, most of which was replaced in the 1930s on the basis of extant remains. The tile revetment is predominantly blue, except in covered halls, which were later revetted in tiles of cooler, yellowy-green shades ... The entrance portal … is the tour-de-force of the mosque's tile decoration and is entirely executed in tile mosaic in a full palette of colors. The outer edge of the iwan is framed by a wide inscription band with religious texts written in white thuluth script on a dark blue ground. The arch is framed by a triple cable molded in light blue tile and ascending from marble vases [see B02.053]. The semidome is filled with glittering tiers of muqarnas [see B02.050 and B02.054] which spring from a horizontal band across the back and sides of the iwan. Panels in the balcony over the doorway are decorated with confronted peacocks, and other panels in the semidome are decorated with stars and vine scrolls issuing from vases. Magnificent panels laid out like prayer carpets flank the doorway, which is revetted with marble panels. The rest of the mosque is decorated with tiles of poorer quality, probably because money was short and the spaces to be covered vast. Most of it is done in multicolored glazed tiles (Pers. haft rangi), which can give a dazzling effect in strong sunlight but which are less effective in such dark interior spaces as the domed sanctuary and the winter prayer halls" (189-90). -MA (Source: Blair, Sheila S., and Jonathan M. Bloom. The Art and Architecture of Islam: 1250–1800. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994.)


Esfahan, Iran



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