Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/gz6nzg

The Calcutta Review An Illustrated Monthly (Third Series) August 1925




The two outstanding features were the courtyard shape of the structure and the studious care taken when fixing the direction of prayer; and these features of the first mosque remained for a century the characteristic features of the religious art of the Islamic Empire. [...] A comisrison of the plaster-work of Ihn Tulun with the Coptic carvings preserved in the Cairo Museum of Antiquities and those from the tomb of Ayn-es-Sirs in the Arab Museum shows clearly the source of the floral decoration which belongs to the Byzantine School of Syria and Egypt. [...] The difference between the soft flexity of this work done with a tool in the moist plaster and the hard mechanical effect of the designs impressed with a mould in the Alhambra is striking; it is the difference between the artist and the artisan tin the simple rounded capitals of the engaged columns built at the corner of each arch there is a rudimentary bud and flower pattern and on either sid [...] Although the immediate.influence of Mesopotamia determined the character of the Ibn Tulun Mosque we cannot explain the continuance of the pointed arch and its further development into keel-arch ' and the use of niches such as we find in the Mosque of Al-Azhar and other buildings of t holt Fatimide period except upon the assumption of the direct influence of the immediate surroundings. [...] The olderpart of the façade (only the lower part of which goes back to the XIth century the upper evidently belongs to the XlIth and XIIIth) was copied by the architect of the front of the parish church of Empoli (1093).



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