The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Has Always Had One Of The

2017 Words May 8th, 2017 9 Pages
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has always had one of the most renowned and respected Islamic art exhibits in the western world. Their collection ranges from the early art of Egypt and the Middle East all the way to some of the most recent Ottoman art pieces. Their vast collection includes an inscribed marble capital from the Spanish Umayyad period, several pieces of pottery from the Mongol empire, and even includes a 4 foot tall, teak kursi made by Hasan [ibn] Sulaiman al-Isfahani in Iran in 1360. The collection as a whole was without a doubt one of the most impressive exhibits I had ever seen, but what stood out miles ahead of the other pieces was a full size prayer niche from Isfahan which was dated to be from 1355. The mason and …show more content…
This Madrasa is especially significant, because it is one of the earliest pieces of Islamic architecture to still be standing today. It was also one of the first Islamic architectural buildings to employ to use of decorated floral mosaic tiles which was uncommon during the Ilkhanid period but later mastered by the Timurids. Earlier mosaic designs were strictly geometric, but this new floral pattern gained popularity as time passed. While walking through the museum I was fascinated by several secular and religious pieces of art from the Islamic region. The reason that I chose to analyze this piece over the other exhibits was a result of my interest in mosque architecture, and because this was as close as I was able to get to an ancient piece of Islamic architecture. I have seen many qibla walls, many qurans, and many mihrabs, but this specific one was unlike the modern prayer niches in the mosques that I visit, it was a spectacular masterpiece of polychrome mosaic and it was unlike any religious architectural exhibit in the western world. It’s impossible to ignore the important role that the east Asian ideas of the Mongol empire played in the religious architecture of the Ilkhanid period, and had the Ilkhanids not been so heavily influenced by Mongol traditions their architecture would have had a completely different look and feel.
My first impression of the Madrasa Imami mihrab was the colors. Polychroming was a
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