Ka'ba Tile

Osman Ibn Mehmed Turkish
Patron `Abdullah Mehmed

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 460

This rectangular tile depicts a stylized view of Mecca, with the black-shrouded Ka‘ba in the center of the Masjid al-Haram and other buildings within and around the holy sanctuary. It is part of a larger material corpus related to the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca and sites in its vicinity, which each pious Muslim should perform once in his or her life. Such Ka’ba tiles were a favored theme in Ottoman tile workshops. This one is painted in the traditional color palette used in seventeenth century Iznik tiles. However the bird’s-eye view, inspired by the European pictorial tradition, is a characteristic of later examples made at Tekfur Sarayi in Istanbul, a less well-known Ottoman ceramic workshop.

Ka'ba Tile, Osman Ibn Mehmed (Turkish, active first half 18th century), Stonepaste; polychrome painted under transparent glaze

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