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HOME : Islamic Art : Islamic Masterpieces : Mughal Glazed Terracotta Tiled Panel
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Mughal Glazed Terracotta Tiled Panel - X.0401
Origin: India
Circa: 18 th Century AD
Dimensions: 30.25" (76.8cm) high x 48.75" (123.8cm) wide
Collection: Islamic Art
Medium: Glazed Terracotta

Additional Information: AS

Location: Great Britain
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The Mughal Dynasty was a line of Muslim emperors who ruled over lands comprising the modern states of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Mughal style blended the native Persian patterns imported by the Mughals with the indigenous genius for intricate craftsmanship that characterizes the subcontinent. Noted equally for their distinctive architecture as well as their beautiful jewelry, the crowning achievement of this style is the Taj Mahal, the world famous monument built in the Mughal capital of Agra.

This gorgeous glazed rectangular panel is composed of twelve individual tiles arranged in three rows of four. Together, they depict a large medallion featuring an inscription in the Thuluth script, utilizing white letters against a dark blue background detailing the glory of god. "Allah is Great , there is no God But Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" The Thuluth calligraphic script first appears during the birth of Islam in the 7th Century A.D. However, it was not fully developed until the 9th Century. Characterized by curved letters written with barbed heads, the letters are linked and sometimes intersecting, producing a complex flow of cursive letters. The name Thuluth literally means, “a third.” Scholars debate whether the name refers to the script being a third the size of another contemporary script, or whether it refers to the ratio of straight lines to curves. Despite the fact that the Thuluth script is rarely used for writing the Qur’an (although it was employed for many of the large copies produced from the 13th Century A.D. onwards), it is the most important of all the ornamental scripts used to write sura headings, religious inscriptions, princely titles, and epigraphs.

The central medallion is framed by a series of flowers in white with dark blue highlights against a light blue background. This section is in turn surrounded by another band that frames the entire composition featuring dark blue flowers with light blue leaves rendered in the saz style against a white background. This stunning glazed tile panel would have once decorated an important structure built during the Mughal Dynasty, reflecting the luxurious splendor characteristic of this style.
- (X.0401)


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