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Tile with the Great Mosque of Mecca

The three lines of Arabic writing in the upper part of this large, ceramic wall tile are from the third chapter of the Qur’an, and exhort the Muslim faithful to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. The rest of the tile is given over to a bird’s-eye representation of the Great Mosque in Mecca, with the Ka’ba, Islam’s holiest shrine, in the center surrounded by various other structures, all identified in Arabic, and a rectangular portico around the courtyard. Such tiles may have been created to remind Muslims of their obligation to make the pilgrimage and to introduce potential hajji, or pilgrims, to the places and practices they would encounter in Mecca. The plaques also may have been intended for commemoration and contemplation following a hajji’s experience at the Ka’ba.

Tile with the Great Mosque of Mecca

Tile with the Great Mosque of Mecca


Source: The Walters

  • Turkish (Artist)

17th century (Ottoman)


fritware with underglaze painting




24 9/16 x 14 1/8 x 1 3/8 in. (62.4 x 35.8 x 3.5 cm)

  • Iznik (in present-day Turkey) (Place of Origin)

About the Author
The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is internationally renowned for its collection of art. The collection presents an overview of world art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe, and counts among its many treasures Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi; medieval ivories and Old Master paintings; Art Nouveau jewelry and 19th-century European and American masterpieces.
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FA Bhatti