Niche in Back Wall of Shah-i Zindah Mosque. Samarkand
The Shah-i Zindah (Persian for “living king”) necropolis is located at the outskirts of Samarkand. Situated on an ancient burial ground, it is revered as a memorial to Kusam-ibn-Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad. Shown here is the main peshtak (facade arch) of a mausoleum built in 1361 adjacent to the Kusam-ibn-Abbas shrine. Although its patron has not been identified, it was apparently intended for a prominent noblewoman. In addition to ceramic mosaics, the mausoleum has glazed carved terra-cotta columns and panels with intricate floral, geometric, and inscriptional designs. Curving tendrils link floral patterns, including the lotus blossom. Above the bricked portal is an inscription panel, and the arch niche culminates in a complex geometric design. The image is by Russian photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863–1944), who used a special color photography process to create a visual record of the Russian Empire in the early 20th century. Some of Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs date from about 1905, but the bulk of his work is from between 1909 and 1915, when, with the support of Tsar Nicholas II and the Ministry of Transportation, he undertook extended trips through many different parts of the empire. In 1911 he made two trips to Turkestan (present-day Uzbekistan and neighboring states), where he devoted special attention to monuments of Islamic architecture.
- acku Afghanistan
- Image Size
- 1800x1644 / 876.1KB
- Contained in galleries