Museopics - Zellige Berber Tile Mosaics Photos, Pictures and Images { 112 images } Created 14 Apr 2014

Photos of zellinge mosaic Berber tile designs of Morocco and Spain. Zellige, zillij or zellij are enamelled geometric terracotta tiles that are set in plaster to create symmetrical ornamental surface coverings in Berber and Hispano Moorish buildings. The patterns created by the artisans are infinite ranging from the popular octagon through star and cross shapes that are combined to create rich decorations on walls, floors, pool and fountains as well as tables and ceilings. Geometric designs in plaster, tiles and calligraphy have fascinated Islamic artists since the birth of Islam. Figurative representations of God or any of the profits of Islam meant that Islamic artists gave expression to the infinite wisdom of God through complex geometric patterns. The complex Mathematics of girih tilings that adorn the Topkapi Palace and other great Islamic buildings like the Tomb of Hafez in Iran are testament to the great skill and craftsmanship of Islamic artists that are still baffling mathematicians today. Zillij was introduced to the imperial buildings of Morocco and Spain at the beginning in the mid-llth century by the Almoravid rulers. It was not until the Marinid dynasty, of Zenata Berber descent that ruled Morocco from the 13th to the 15th century, that zillinge was popularised both in the Magreb and Al-Andalus as can be seen in the Alhambra Palace. The centres of zillinge tile production are Fes and Meknes and at the beginning of the 13th century, a survey of the city ordered by the Almohad ruler al-Nasir Muhammad (1199-1213) counted 188 ceramic workshops in Fez alone. Zillinge is considered to be an art in itself and the Maalems (master craftsmen) learn the craft of zillinge from childhood and have passed on the skill for generations. 10 cm (4”) mother tiles are cut using a radius gauge, which gives the precision necessary to create the very precise geometric shapes, to create the furmah which are set into white plaster to form a geometric puzzle of great richness. There are 360 fumah shapes such as chevrons, triangles, hexagons, lozenges and diamonds. A meter square (39”) panel containing a 24 point star require about 5000 fumah. The zlayjis of Morocco see their craft as part of the spiritual world of Islam. Thousand of fumah come together to create a perfection that in never ending in its possibilities just as Gods universe is. Rashidi, a young fraash from Fez remarked "Stars are the idealised shapes among all of God's works. Their symmetry is perfect and their spacing is precise. Such perfection is not reached by creating them piece by piece” which indicated his belief that God’s infinite wisdom is made up of all the minutiae of the universe that surrounds us. The intricacy of Islamic art is overwhelming in the great mosques and palaces of the Islamic world. Buy as high resolution stock royalty free photos or as photo art prints.
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