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Dick Osseman | all galleries >> Istanbul pictures Start page >> Istanbul Mosques >> Eyüp Mosque in Istanbul > Istanbul june 2009 2459.jpg
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Istanbul june 2009 2459.jpg
26-JUN-2009

Istanbul june 2009 2459.jpg

All these pictures are from the monumental grave chamber of Eyüp, which is covered with Iznik tiles of the best quality. The grave proper is in a room that one can look into through elaborate grating. In the room where the believers gather there is a showcase with what must be a footprint of the prophet, I distinctly think it used to be in the Topkapı museum. Here it is much more in its proper place.

On the picture: A calligraphic panel; inlay of mother-of-pearl in tortoise-shell.

Marquetry, with inlays of ivory, tortoise-shell and mother-of-pearl became one of the major decorative arts in Ottoman times. Because of its luminous and multicolored reflection, mother-of-pearl was particularly popular, in spite of its hardness and brittle nature, which made its treatment complicated.

Islamic calligraphy, also known as ‘Arabic calligraphy’, is the artistic practice of handwriting, calligraphy, and by extension, of bookmaking, in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. This art form is based on the Arabic script, which for a long time was used by all Muslims in their respective languages. Ottoman Turkish calligraphy is associated with abstract arabesque motifs on the walls and ceilings of mosques as well as on the page or panels. The calligrapher can pursue different goals: the pure beauty of the line, the readability of the text, the monumentality of the inscription, symmetry, dynamic flow, even the suggestion or contours of an object.
Muslims used calligraphy to represent God because they denied representing God with images. It is especially revered among Islamic arts since it was the primary means for the preservation of the Koran. Suspicion of figurative art as idolatrous led to calligraphy and abstract depictions becoming a major form of artistic expression in Islamic cultures, especially and particularly in religious contexts.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: (amongst others) Wikipedia.

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