Tile from a Frieze

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455

This tile bearing verses from the Qur’an may have once formed part of a calligraphic frieze within a tomb or religious structure. Written in thuluth script, the raised text from Sura 62 (Al-Jumu‘ah), Verse 9 demands that believers join in Friday prayer. The narrow bands of naskh script above and below also contain Qur’anic verses, here painted in luster over an opaque white glaze. Perhaps set at eye-level above a dado of geometric tiles, the full group would have once formed a continuous band of text. A total of twenty tiles from this frieze are known to exist, including eight in the Museum’s collection.

Tile from a Frieze, Stonepaste; inglaze painted in blue and turquoise and luster-painted on opaque white glaze

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