December 2020 – Tiles of Empire

10th December 2020

Iznik tiles from Ottoman Empire Anatolia are one of the glories of Islamic Art.  They were commissioned by Sultans throughout the realm, but especially in Istanbul, to decorate mosques and palaces.  Prized for their clear glaze, dynamic compositions and vibrant colours, especially cobalt blue, turquoise and a rich, high-relief red underglaze pigment often called ‘sealing-wax red’ they are highly collectable today.  Predominant themes are religious texts in decorative calligraphy, floral arabesques, tulips, carnations, roses, Chinese-inspired cloud-scrolls, wide feathery saz leaves and split palmettes.

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