An arc-shaped panel with Iznik tiles (late 16th century).
Above: a painted ceiling. This kind of design is an example of the Islamic passion for relating areas and objects of disparate size and purpose through their decoration. This pattern could be applied to a rug or a book just as well as to a ceiling. Hence the name of the technique: ‘kalem işi’ (= work of the pen/paintbrush), being inspired on the geometric or stylised ornamentations used by Ottoman calligraphers to illuminate books.
Although repainted, this work is likely to be modelled on the original.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: ‘Islamic Architecture: Ottoman Turkey’ (Godfrey Goodwin) – London 1977