The bold naskh lettering intertwined with delicate background scrolls on this panel recalls illuminated calligraphy of manuscripts and inscription bands of inlaid metalwork. Traces of red and blue pigment and gilding indicate that the panel, probably part of a wall frieze, was once similarly polychromatic. Medieval authors refer to such epigraphic architectural friezes as tiraz, a term for inscribed textiles. These connections demonstrate the aesthetic continuities between a wide variety of media, on dramatically different scales.
[ Art market, Near East, until 1930; sold to MMA]
Orient de Saladin : L'Art des Ayyoubides. Paris: Gallimard, 2001.