Architecture is the solemn identity of peoples and civilizations, creating the shape and tone of a society. Because of the lack of emphasis on external appearance in Islamic architecture, a structure – a mosque or mausoleum for example – might be hidden from view. This form of architecture has been called the ‘architecture of the veil.’
Enveloped by a plain facade, the structure’s innermost sanctum, the courtyard, is kept secret. The introverted courtyard expresses humility and the need to exclude the outside environment while protecting what’s inside — the inner life.Once inside, one is stunned by the use of mosaic and richly painted decoration. The tiles are laid in a rich repertory of designs, both geometric and abstract and from molded and deeply cut stone or plaster. The multitude of decorative treatments and inscriptions executed in a full variety of calligraphic styles serve as both religious description and decoration and is without parallel in the architecture of the non-Muslim world. Here we see the guardian of the courtyard standing in one of the repetitive arches.
18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 cm)
24 x 32 inches (60.96 x 81.28 cm)
30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)