Some of the most noticeable objects in the ROM’s Wirth Gallery of The Middle East are two friezes of tiles that would have been in the spandrels of arches. These were made in Iran in the last third of the 17th century under the Safavid dynasty, probably for a palatial building in Isfahan.
Safavid cuerda seca tile arch spandrels from Isfahan
We invite you to read our blogs about a new exciting project related to the two Safavid tile arches in the Royal Ontario Museum.
A dozen or so such arches sold from the Kevorkian collection were made known through the publications of the late Dr. I. Luschey-Schmeisser. Our hypothesis is that these and many more, done in the same technique and style (c. 1670), came from a single palatial building in Isfahan. We are currently assembling panels from the hundreds of “orphaned tiles” that were collected from the ruins of the site, probably c. 1900, and now exist in museums and private collections. Our new project will deal with the technique of cuerda seca and the creation of these spandrels as well as attempting to reconstruct as much of the original cycle of themes. We are hoping that colleagues who may know of the existence of such tiles in small museums and collections will tell us about them. We welcome feedback to our blogs.
Dr. Robert B. Mason, Materials Scientist, Royal Ontario Museum
Dr. Lisa Golombek, Curator Emeritus, Royal Ontario Museum
- July 06, 2018
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