Hexagonal Wall Tile
On View In:
Gallery 243
Artist:   Syrian  
Title:   Hexagonal Wall Tile  
Date:   Ottoman period  
Medium:   Earthenware with underglaze blue and turquoise  
Dimensions:   7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm)  
Credit Line:   The William Hood Dunwoody Fund  
Location:   Gallery 243  

Architectural tile work reached its greatest artistic expression in the Islamic countries. Glazed tile used as wall decoration became popular throughout the Middle East during the Seljuk dynasty (1038-1157). Animal figures and purely geometric motifs were applied to tiles glazed in both luster and polychrome techniques into the fifteenth century. Blue-and-white decor became universally popular with the Ottomans, however, and tile work in two shades of blue, such as the example shown here, was produced at Damascus in Syria beginning around 1500. Several Turkish mosques and palaces of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries incorporated similar tiles in their decor. Removed from its original setting, the tile loses much of its decorative impact, but thousands of such pieces adjacent to each other created a brilliant interior.

Object Description  
Classification:   Ceramics  
Physical Description:   Hexagonal Tile palmette and arabesque design in turquoise and dark blue on white; Damascus  
Creation Place:   Asia, Syria, , ,  
Accession #:   17.55  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts