16th century CE or later
Materials and technique
Ceramic; earthenware, painted with white slip under cobalt blue and turquoise glazes
124 x 226 cm
These tiles form the spandrel of an arch from an unknown building. Fifteenth- and sixteenth century funerary monuments in Multan, Punjab, were decorated on the exterior with tile panels such as this. The sixteenth-century tomb of Sultan 'Ali Akbar, for example, is clad with spandrels that closely parallel this panel. Each of the eight sides of that mausoleum includes spandrels above blind arches. The palette of turquoise, white, and blue underglaze reflects the strong influence of Timurid Central Asia, possibly a source of craftsman potters as well as designs. Used here as a central point around which stylised leaves rotate, this motif is also commonly found on tilework from Multan and Sind in southern Pakistan from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.
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