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Tile Spandrel with Floral Sprays

c. 1570–75
Overall: 76 x 29.9 x 2.5 cm (29 15/16 x 11 3/4 x 1 in.)
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Location: 116 Islamic

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The tile's radiant floral sprays evoke eternal spring and visions of paradise.


This spandrel, along with its missing right half, would have formed a decorative archway over a niche, window, or door. It reveals the artistic and technical height achieved in Iznik, a town in northwest Turkey. Craftspeople from Iznik were renowned for their production of brilliantly colored tiles for the Ottoman sultans, rulers of one of the most powerful empires in history. The intense red on this spandrel was a technical triumph achieved with a thick iron-rich clay slip. Here, it forms red roses intertwined with leaves and other blossoms.
Tile Spandrel with Floral Sprays

Tile Spandrel with Floral Sprays

c. 1570–75

Turkey, Iznik, Ottoman period (1299–1922)

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