January 29, 2013

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi, Congregational Mosque (Friday Mosque). Column Base

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 and a mosque at the far end, facing the main entrance. This view shows the marble base for an attached column on the left corner of the iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch of the mosque. (The upper part of the column is missing.) This complex marble element begins with an octahedron resting on a square base and buttressed at the corners by pyramidal elements. The octahedral form rises in a tapering, concave curve to an octagonal “collar,” above which the column flares outward until the full octahedral form is reasserted. At this point lotus figures effect a transformation to a round column. Fragments of ceramic panels are visible on the outer (left) and inner walls of the iwan.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi, Congregational Mosque (Friday Mosque). Column Base

This photograph of a detail of the mosque at 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 cloister for scholars and a mosque at the opposite end from the main entrance. This view shows the severely eroded marble base for an attached column on the right corner of the iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch of the mosque. This marble element begins with an octahedron resting on a square base and buttressed at the corners by pyramidal elements. The octahedral form rises in a tapering, concave curve to an octagonal “collar,” above which the column flares outward until the full octahedral form is reasserted. At this point, lotus figures effect a transformation to a round column. Ceramic fragments are visible on the inner (left) and outer walls of the iwan.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi, Congregational Mosque (Friday Mosque). End

This photograph of the mosque at 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 to the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard with a mosque at one end. A monumental iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch occupies the center of the main facade of the mosque. This view shows the upper part of the left flank within the niche formed by the great arch. The wall surface displays geometric tile patterns that include floral motifs and block Kufic letters signifying words from the Kalima, the basis of the Shahada, or Islamic declaration of faith. A horizontal ceramic inscription in Perso-Arabic script extends across the wall at the point where the flank curves inward to form the iwan arch. The intricate geometric pattern returns above the inscription. On the right is the back wall of the niche, and on the left is the outer wall of the iwan.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi, Congregational Mosque (Friday Mosque). Beginning

This photograph of the mosque at 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 to the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard with a mosque at one end. A monumental iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch occupies the center of the main facade of the mosque. This view shows the upper part of the right flank within the niche formed by the great arch. The wall surface displays geometric tile patterns that include floral motifs and block Kufic letters signifying words from the Kalima, the basis of the Shahada, or Islamic declaration of faith. A horizontal ceramic inscription in Perso-Arabic script extends across the wall at the point where the flank curves inward to form the iwan arch. The intricate geometric pattern returns above the inscription. On the left is the back wall of the niche; on the far right is the outer wall of the iwan.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi, Congregational Mosque (Friday Mosque). Inscriptions of the Inner Niche of the Main Entry Above a Window

This photograph of the mosque at 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 to the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard with a mosque at one end. A monumental iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch occupies the center of the main facade of the mosque. This view shows the upper part of the wall within the niche formed by the iwan arch. At the center is the pointed tip of the portal arch (peshtak), surrounded by polychrome faience work in an intricate floral design. Above the arch is a horizontal inscription in Perso-Arabic script within a grid design. These segments are bordered by decorative strips with floral motifs. Within the peshtak arch, whose surface is covered with floral patterns, is the tip of a lattice window above the portal. This rich array of ceramic ornamentation no doubt was intended to suggest the entrance to the Garden of Paradise.

Antiquities of Samarkand. Madrasah of Nadir Divan-Begi, Congregational Mosque (Friday Mosque). Middle

This photograph of the mosque at 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 to the Bukharan ruler Imam-Quli Khan. The madrasah was planned as a rectangular courtyard with a mosque at one end. A monumental iwan (vaulted hall, walled on three sides, with one end open) arch occupies the center of the main facade of the mosque. This view shows a part of the upper left wall within the niche formed by the great arch. The wall surface displays geometric tile patterns, including block Kufic letters that signify words from the Kalima, the basis of the Shahada, or Islamic declaration of faith. A horizontal ceramic inscription in Perso-Arabic script extends across the facade at the point where the niche’s flanking wall (on the left) curves inward to form the iwan arch. On the right are floral and geometric figures in polychrome faience work that surrounds the upper part of the portal arch (peshtak) situated within the iwan.