Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Calligraphic Roundel, inscribed "Ya Aziz" (Oh Mighty)

Object Name:
late 16th–early 17th century
Attributed to India, Deccan, Hyderabad
Sandstone; carved, traces of pigment
Diam. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm) D. 1 3/16 in. (3 cm) Wt. 10 lbs. (4.5 kg)
Credit Line:
Edward Pearce Casey Fund, 1985
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 463
Decorative roundels are found in the spandrels of arches on many buildings in the Deccan, but those with calligraphic decoration only appear in mosques and tombs. The inscription on this roundel reads "Ya 'Aziz" (O Mighty), one of the ninety-nine names of God in the Islamic tradition. Each phrase is first written vertically and then in mirror image to form a decorative unit that is repeated eight times around the roundel.
Inscription: Inscription in Arabic in thuluth script repeated eight times:
یا عزیز
O Mighty
[ Vipasha, Ltd., London, until 1985; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Nature of Islamic Ornament Part I: Calligraphy," February 26, 1998–June 28, 1998, no catalogue.

Paris. Musée du Louvre. "Louvre Long Term Loan," April 28, 2004–April 27, 2006, no catalogue.

Cousens, Henry. Bijapur and its architectural remains: with historical outline of the Adil Shahi dynasty, Imperial series/ Archaeological Survey of India, vol. 37 (1916). ill. pls. XIII - LIV, for the medallions in the spandrels of the West Door in the tomb of the Ibrahim Rauza, dated 1633 but possibly earlier.

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. p. 153, ill. fig. 118 (color).

Schimmel, Annemarie. "Islamic Calligraphy." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. (Summer 1992). pp. 54, 56, inside back cover, ill. fig. 67 (color).

Burn, Barbara, ed. Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York; Boston: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. p. 79, ill. (color).

Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 43 (1995–1996). p. 13, ill. p. 13 (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. 278A, pp. 390-392, ill. p. 391 (color).

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