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The Mosque in the Medieval Islamic World

  Why study the mosque? For historians of architecture and culture alike, the answer is gratifyingly simple. This is the Islamic building par excellence, and as such the key to Islamic architecture. Moreover,…

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The Shah Jehan (Emperor’s) Album

The Shah Jahan Album, also known as the Emperor’s Album or Kevorkian Album, features fifty illustrated and calligraphy folios, forty-one of which belong to the Metropolitan Museum, and nine of which reside in…

Album leaf with a Shii invocation, 17th century

This leaf of fine nastaliq calligraphy was conceived as an artistic endeavor, in which the writing is integrated with the ornamental background. The decorative technique of marbleizing paper spread from Iran to Turkey…

Mughal Art after 1600

After the death of Akbar, architect of the Mughal empire and active patron of the arts, his son Jahangir (r. 1605–27) ascended to the throne. As a prince, Jahangir had established his own…

Rosette (shamsa) bearing the name and titles of Emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628–58), Mughal, 17th century Attributed to India Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

Rosette (shamsa)

This shamsa is an exquisite example of the art of illumination in the Mughal period. The profusion and gem-like detail of the floral decoration of the rosette, set along scrolling vines, can be…

Taj Mahal – Music of Ancient India

Taj Mahal – Music of Ancient India

“A tear of marble still on the cheek of Time” (Rabindranath Tagore) “Una lacrima di marmo ferma sulla guancia del Tempo”. Soundtrack: Traditional Music of Ancient India Traditional Music of Ancient India Taj…

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal – Refined Elegance

The Taj Mahal: Symbol of India, architectural jewel, and monument to a grand passion. We take a closer look at the Taj Mahal and revisit its history – why it was built and…

Architecture of Fatehpur Sikri

Abandoned city in northern India founded by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1571. Fatehpur Sikri derives its name from the village of Sikri which occupied the spot before, the prefix Fatehpur, City of…

Materials and Mediums – Islamic Art

The decorative arts in Islam are marked by a remarkable degree of stylistic consistency which has been applied to a broad range of materials, each of which had a craft-base of its own,…

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Islamic Calligraphy 1450-1925 A.D.- East

  This calligraphic panel is executed in black (Indian) naskh on a pink paper decorated with gold cloud motifs and pasted to a light blue backing. The poem wishes a ruler (nicknamed the…

Islamic Calligraphy – 1250 to 1450 A.D.

  Written in a bold muhaqqaq script with the word Allah in gold, this page is from chapter three of the Koran (the House of Imran), verses 79 and 80. The passage stresses…

Doris Dukes Shangri La – Center for Islamic Arts and Culture

The collection at Shangri La consists of about 3,500 objects, within which are several distinct sub-collections that shed light on Islam, Islamic cultures and Islamic art, among other traditions. Below are links to…

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