Section of an Epigraphic Frieze from the Mosque of Ibn Tulun
Made in Egypt, from the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, Cairo
11 5/8 x 48 7/16 x 11/16 in. (29.5 x 123 x 1.8 cm)
The David Collection, Copenhagen (1/2002)
Not on view
Ibn Tulun (r. 868–84) built a great mosque inspired by the architecture of the Abbasid capital Samarra when he established his semiautonomous rule over Egypt. The interior included an extensive frieze handsomely inscribed in Kufic with verses from the Qur’an. The mosque’s decoration represents an Islamic style increasingly distinct from the traditions of the region under Byzantine rule.
Inscription: In Arabic, in Kufic script, from al-Baqara (2):133: [and] the God of thy father[s], Abraham
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.