How was your Eid? I hope you had a good time and for my non-Muslim readers, I hope you had a great weekend. I am sorry that I had not posted much of any posts, even the weekly Imagining Islamic Aesthetics. However with the excitement and celebrations had died down, I can now dedicate some of my time to the blog.
For this edition of Imagining Islamic Aesthetics I would like to focus on the topic of Islamic woodcarving. Don’t worry there is not much of descriptive texts here, just some eye candy for you to enjoy because as usual, this topic will be elaborated more later in other category, some other time.
Wood is one of the prominent materials used by Islamic artisans, being an easily malleable and easily obtainable (in some areas) material. In fact, it is one of the preferred medium the Islamic artisan chosen for their masterpieces, particularly in the Mediterranean region of the Islamic empire i.e Egypt, Syria, Turkey. It is usually carved and sometimes inlaid with different materials such as mother-of-pearls or semi-precious stones or sometimes painted, and usually used for structures such as Minbars, doors, Masyrabias, wooden panels or for smaller, daily artifacts.
Detail of a cupboard door with mother-of-pearl, in the apartments of the Valide Sultan in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.
The carved wooden ceiling of Cappella Palatina (Palatine Chapel) in Sicily, Italy.
Panel with doves. Carved shea wood, Egypt, 8th century.
A carved and painted ceiling in the Tomb of Moulay Ishmael, in Meknes, Morocco.
A Masyrabia window in the Mausoleum of Barquq, Cairo, Egypt