January 29, 2013

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi. Inscriptions Around the Inner Main Niche in Front of the Door from Outside

This photograph of the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architectural heritage. Located next to the Khodzha Akhrar shrine, this madrasah (religious school) was completed in 1631 by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier and uncle of the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a one-story cloister for scholars. This view shows the upper part of the left flank of the niche formed by the main iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch facing the street. The wall surface is composed of ceramic tiles in a geometric design that includes sacred texts in block Kufic script. At the point where the flank of the niche curves toward the arch vault, there is a horizontal inscription in cursive letters. The basic colors of the tiles are dark and light blue, with details in white, yellow, and orange. The back wall of the niche, dimly visible on the right, continues the ornamental pattern seen on the flank. The outer surface of the iwan facade is visible on the far left.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi. Inscriptions Around the Inner Main Niche in Front of the Door from Outside

This photograph of the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architectural heritage. Located next to the Khodzha Akhrar shrine, this madrasah (religious school) was completed in 1631 by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier and uncle of the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a one-story cloister for scholars. This view shows the right upper part of the niche formed by the main iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch facing the street. Although damaged, the surface of the flank (bottom) displays ceramic tiles in a geometric design that includes sacred texts in block Kufic script. At the point where the flank curves toward the arch vault, there is a horizontal inscription in cursive letters. The upper surface of the arch vault reverts to the geometric pattern. The ceramic ornamentation of the back wall (far left) combines geometric and botanical forms. The basic colors of the tiles are dark and light blue. The outer surface of the iwan facade is visible on the far right.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi. Inscriptions Around the Main Niche of the Southern Facade

This photograph of the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architectural heritage. Located next to the Khodzha Akhrar shrine, this madrasah (religious school) was completed in 1631 by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier and uncle of the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a one-story cloister for scholars. This view shows the right side of the iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch in the middle of the south side of the cloistered courtyard. The outer surface of the iwan facade displays vertical bands of ceramic tiles in geometric patterns. Adjacent to the arch is an inscription band with stylized block Kufic letters. Above the iwan arch are remnants of faience mosaics with botanical figures. The larger surface within the arch niche is devoted to a geometric tile design whose intersecting lines create forms such as eight-pointed stars. The space within the lines is filled with intricate ceramic patterns. The cloister arcade on either side of the iwan has similar ornamentation.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi. Inscriptions Around the Main Niche of the Southern Facade

This photograph of the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architectural heritage. Located next to the Khodzha Akhrar shrine, this madrasah (religious school) was completed in 1631 by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier and uncle of the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a one-story cloister for scholars. This view shows the left side of the iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch in the middle of the south side of the cloistered courtyard. The outer surface of the iwan facade displays vertical bands of ceramic tiles in geometric patterns. Adjacent to the arch is an inscription band with stylized block Kufic letters. Above the iwan arch are remnants of faience mosaics with botanical figures. The larger surface within the arch niche is devoted to a geometric tile design whose intersecting lines create forms such as eight-pointed stars. The space within the lines is filled with intricate ceramic patterns. The cloister arcade on either side of the iwan has similar ornamentation.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi. Inscriptions Around the Main Niche of the Northern Facade

This photograph of the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architectural heritage. Located next to the Khodzha Akhrar shrine, this madrasah (religious school) was completed in 1631 by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier and uncle of the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a one-story cloister for scholars. This view shows the left side of the iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch in the middle of the north side of the cloistered courtyard. Although severely damaged, the outer surface of the iwan facade displays remnants of vertical bands of ceramic tiles in geometric patterns. Adjacent to the arch is an inscription band with stylized block Kufic letters. Above the iwan arch are fragments of faience mosaics with botanical figures. The larger surface within the arch niche is devoted to a geometric tile design whose intersecting lines create forms such as eight-pointed stars. The space within the lines is filled with intricate polychrome ceramic patterns.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi. Inscriptions Around the Main Niche of the Northern Facade

This photograph of the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) is from the archeological part of Turkestan Album. The six-volume photographic survey was produced in 1871-72 under the patronage of General Konstantin P. von Kaufman, the first governor-general (1867-82) of Turkestan, as the Russian Empire’s Central Asian territories were called. The album devotes special attention to Samarkand’s Islamic architectural heritage. Located next to the Khodzha Akhrar shrine, this madrasah (religious school) was completed in 1631 by Nadir Divan-Begi, vizier and uncle of the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard enclosed by a one-story cloister for scholars. This view shows an iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch in the cloistered courtyard. Although severely damaged, the outer surface of the iwan facade displays an inscription band with elongated cursive letters (Thuluth script). Adjacent to the arch are remnants of vertical bands of ceramic tiles in geometric patterns. Surrounding the point of the iwan arch (at left) are fragments of faience mosaics with botanical figures. Floral motifs are also dimly visible at the back of the arch niche. The space within these lines is filled with intricate polychrome ceramic patterns. The basic color is dark blue, with details in white, yellow, orange, and green.