Fellow studio worker, Tom, and his wife recently returned from an incredible trip to Turkey. They came back with treats for us in the studio (Turkish wine and Turkish Delight – yum), and many stories of amazing historic sites. It reminded me of something I came across and wanted to share.
Muqarnas, photo from www.masabih.org
I am attempting to create more detailed, intricate glass mandalas, and what amazing inspiration can be found in this art form. Muqarnas is Arabic for “stalactite vault”. This type of architecture can be traced back to the tenth century, in northeastern Iran. The earliest example can be found near Samarra.
The Imam al-Dur Dome, view of the muqarnas dome from the inside
Muqarnas can be constructed in brick, stone, stucco or wood. They are then traditionally decorated with paint, or painted tiles. The final small, pointed niches are then applied to domes, or the undersides of arches and vaults.
The Alhambra: Hall of the Abencerrajes and Hall of Kings (or Hall of Justice)
The Alhambra is one of the most famous sites containing muqarnas. Located in Grenada, Spain, it was a fortress and palace, as well as a small city. Restoration has been taking place for the past 100 years, and it is still being explored and excavated.
I found a some wonderful, large images on Flickr: Muqarnas and Mocarabe, a gallery created by Ilkhanid Enjoy!