Mosaics on the Shah-i Zindah Walls. 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 facade within the portal arch of the Tuman-Aka khanaka, built in 1405 near the Kusam-ibn-Abbas shrine as part of a memorial to the youngest wife of Timur (Tamerlane). The facade is distinguished by lively ceramic ornamentation with interlocking geometric patterns. At the center is a ten-pointed radiating star motif in faience set within a constellation of five-pointed star patterns. Beneath are two faience panels with cursive (Thuluth) inscriptions in a Persian style. Among the primary patterns are intricate tendril and floral motifs. 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 his travels took him to Samarkand (present-day Uzbekistan), where he devoted special attention to monuments of Islamic architecture.
- acku Afghanistan
- Image Size
- 1800x1616 / 869.5KB
- Contained in galleries