The mihrab of the Friday Mosque of Kerman

I found only two objects of note. One was the mihrab-panel in the Friday Mosque Byron, on the 24th of March 1934, is in Kerman. There, he visited also the Jabal-i Sang. In his travelogue, he gives just a short mention of the Friday Mosque of the city, yet, in this short passage, Byron underlines…

Four mihrabs within a mihrab

When I was preparing the article about the Friday Mosque of Shiraz and the Qur’anic inscriptions that are written on its walls, I came across the photo of a quite particular alabaster slab that used to be kept in the mosque. The slab is made of alabaster and its design is that of a two-dimensional mihrab….

May God give light to him: a tombstone from 10th century Iran

I love tombstones… that’s something creepy and well known: I realised that the majority of inscriptions I publish here are from tombstones, but that’s it. Tombstones are not only beautiful, but also a fertile source of information. Some Iranian tombstones, for instance, can be used to trace the history of craftsmen, or to better understand…

Double two-dimensional mihrab from Art Institute Chicago

I was thinking about writing something for the opening of the galleries of Islamic art at the Art Institute Chicago. While browsing the collection owned by the museum, I found a peculiar tile, decorated with a double-arched two-dimensional mihrab, and of course decorated with wonderful cursive inscriptions (accession number 1917.221).

Reinterpreting an Iranian slab from XII century

After my previous blog, in which I gave my reading and some thoughts about an Iranian tombstone dated 1101 and kept in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I want to go on down this path and consider another tombstone, kept in the same museum (accession number M.73.7.1).

When calligraphy becomes architecture: Q 2:137 and fashion

Calligraphy has been thoroughly used in Islamic art and architecture with decorative purposes. The Qur’an, the Word of God has been used for decorative purposes, but not only. Erika Dodd, in her “The Image of the Word” underlines how the Qur’anic text in mosque decoration was actually used with iconographic purposes, that are both related…