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Architectural Frieze Carved with Quranic Verses

end of 12th century

Inscriptions account for a great deal of the architectural decoration in the Islamic world, where images are forbidden in religious art. This frieze from an Indian shrine consists of thirteen elements that reproduce verses 18–24 of surah 59 of the Quran, known as "Al-Hashr", The Gathering. The text proclaims the supremacy of the new Islamic faith following the establishment of sultanates in northern India, a development that opened up a new political and artistic era in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In a context that was still predominantly Hindu, contact between Arab calligraphy and the Indian tradition of stone sculpture produced some of the most important monumental decorations in Islamic art.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Artwork Details

Title: Architectural Frieze Carved with Quranic Verses
Geography: Rajasthan (?), Northern India
Date: end of 12th century

Medium: sandstone

Classification: architectural element
Dimensions: approx. 54 x 880 x 5.5 cm
Inventory number: LAD 2012.024
Contact for images: [email protected]


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