Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Mihrab Tile

Object Name:
Tile with niche design
dated A.H. 722/ A.D. 1322–23
Stonepaste; modeled, painted under transparent glaze
H. 27 3/8 in. (69.5 cm) W. 26 in. (66 cm) Wt. 74 lbs. (33.6 kg)
Credit Line:
Gift of William Mandel, 1983
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 450
This tile once formed part of a mihrab, or niche, facing Mecca, toward which prayer is directed in mosques. The inscription at its top includes a Qur'anic reference to the mihrab’s function, and provides the date of the tile’s manufacture in the fourteenth century. This surrounds the modeled vine and tendril motif executed with touches of black and turquoise. We must imagine that the interior walls of the building containing this mihrab were once covered in similar tiles, as was common during the Ilkhanid period in Iran.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in ornamental naskhi script:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
أقم الصلوة طرفي النهار وزلفا من اللیل إن الحسنات یذهبن السیئات ذلك ذکری للذاکر ]ین[
لسنة 7٢٢
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And perform the prayer at the two ends of the day and nigh of the night;
Surely the good deeds will drive away evil deeds.
That is a remembrance unto the mindful (Qur’an 11:114)
A.H. 722 /A.D. 1322–33
William Mandel, New York (by 1967–83; gifted to MMA)
Carboni, Stefano, and Tomoko Masuya. Persian Tiles. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 25, p. 30, ill. (b/w).

Rossabi, Morris, Charles Melville, James C.Y. Watt, Tomoko Masuya, Sheila S. Blair, Robert Hillenbrand, Linda Komaroff, Stefano Carboni, Sarah Bertelan, and John Hirx. The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353, edited by Stefano Carboni, and Linda Komaroff. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 125, pp. 128, 270, ill. fig. 152 (color).

Encyclopaedia Iranica vol. XII (2004). p. 665, ill. pl. III (b/w).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 80, pp. 123-124, ill. p. 123 (color).

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