Timurid, 14th-15th century CE
Materials and technique
Carved and glazed terracotta
32 x 32 cm
Timurid tilework from the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is some of the finest Islamic tilework ever created. Timur (r. 1370-1405 CE) and his successors were fierce rulers but also grand patrons of the arts. Monumental buildings demanded extraordinary decoration. The brilliant turquoise domes and elaborately patterned façades of Timurid buildings are a familiar site in cities such as Samarqand. They used a range of techniques such as banna’i (glazed brick patterns), carved and glazed terracotta, tile mosaic, cuerda seca (dry cord), underglaze painted relief moulding and even lustre, all revealing the virtuoso talents of the craftsmen. The tile panels may have been affixed to the exterior façade of a mosque or mausoleum in the Shah-i Zinda complex at Samarqand.
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