wood, carved in champlevé, with gilt inscriptions on painted ground, over a layer of gesso
inscribed in thulth script
Ottoman mosque architecture was dominated by central domes, the pendentives of which often bore roundels, of painted wood or tilework, with the names of God, Muhammad, Abu Bakr, ‘Uthman, ‘Umar and ‘Ali, and sometimes the names of Hasan and Husayn too, and appropriate prayers for each. The most famous, and the largest, are those designed by the 19th-century calligrapher, Mustafa ‘Izzet in the mosque of Ayasofya (converted from the great Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul.
The four roundels in the Khalili Collection are inscribed with the names of God (MXD 265a), Abu Bakr (MXD 265b), ‘Uthman (MXD 265c) and Hasan (MXD 265d).
N.F. Safwat, The Art of the Pen. Calligraphy of the 14th to 20th Centuries, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume V, London 1996, cat.88–9, pp.152, and 154–5.
S. Vernoit, Occidentalism. Islamic Art in the 19th Century, The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, volume XXIII, London 1997, cat.1, pp.16–17.
J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.282, pp.246–7.