Tile from a Squinch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 455

This intricately carved tile exhibits a distinctive curving arched shape that identifies it as a muqarnas element. A muqarnas is a stalactite‑like form that often adorns the interior curves of domes, niches, and portals of Islamic buildings. The precise origin of this tile remains unknown, although it is similar to tiles used at the Shah‑i Zinda funerary complex in Samarqand.

Tile from a Squinch, Stonepaste; carved and glazed

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