Tile panel, ca. 1430
Attributed to the workshop of Ghaybi al–Tawrizi (active Tabriz and Damascus, mid–15th century)
Probably Syria (Damascus)
Stonepaste molded and painted under a transparent glaze; 45 x 45 in. (114.3 x 114.3 cm)
Gift of Prof. Maan Z. Madina and Dr. Marilyn Jenkins–Madina, 2009 (2009.59.2)
This set of sixteen ceramic tiles comes from a square panel that decorated the interior of a building, perhaps the mosque and tomb complex of Ghars al-Din al-Khalil al-Tawrizi (d. 1423) in Damascus, which contains tiles of a similar style. The blue and white palette, flower sprays, and composite scrolls of this panel and others from the tomb are thought to reflect the popularity of Chinese ceramics and decorative motifs in Syria in the fifteenth century. They were probably made by the workshop of Ghaybi al-Tawrizi, whose name is written on some of the tiles still in situ. The suffix al-Tawrizi indicates that Ghaybi, like Ghars al-Din, was originally from the city of Tabriz in northwestern Iran. He must have trained in Tabriz, a noted ceramic center, before moving to Damascus in the early fifteenth century and finally settling in Cairo, where additional tiles signed by him or his workshop have been found. A ewer also in the Museum's collection and a tile panel from the mosque of Sayyida Nafisa in Cairo signed by Ibn al-Ghaybi are evidence that Ghaybi's son continued in the trade.