- Title: Muqarnas decoration
- Creator: Unknown
- Location: Turkey, Bursa
- Physical Dimensions: Height: 13 3/4 in. (34 cm )
- Medium: Earthenware, cuerda seca technique
- Date: 13th – 15th centuries
- From the Collection of Turkish Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Fez Morocco in Turkey offers a fine example of the utilization of muqarnas on arches. Here, the muqarnas decoration is assembled on the bottom part of the arches, extends from the capitals and covers all the lower part of the arches on each side. There are four levels of the joints. The horizontal joint surfaces have the same shape at each level. Each cells does not support any weight from the arches or other structures. It shows that the Muqarnas does not need to be carved into the structural blocks of a corbelled vault; it can be hung from a structural roof as a purely decorative surface. The curving arched shape on top of the cells identifies its muqarnas identity with low relief of interlace and floral decoration. The arch is in good condition, no obvious damage is found.
The decoration shows also an early desire in the Islamic architecture to dissolve the barriers between the surfaces. It is the variety and richness of the decoration created by the repetition of the muqarnas with its endless permutations, that characterizes the buildings rather than their structural elements, which are often disguised.
Figure 1. Basic principle of muqarnas arch design