Fatimid Woodwork in Egypt: Its Style, Influences and by AlSulaiti, Fatema

By AlSulaiti, Fatema

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Extra info for Fatimid Woodwork in Egypt: Its Style, Influences and Development

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There is in fact a manifest contrast between the vertically placed carved panels and the horizontally placed panels on either side of the door. The door set in the middle is engraved with eight vertically oriented panels, and this vertical aspect seems most appropriate when used for a door as it mimics the vertical rectangular shape. The use of direction here is clever in order to draw attention to the door and avoid any incongruity or cause disturbance to the mind. If the panels were placed horizontally, the viewer would suspect the function of the constructed door.

Details: Similar to the panels of a door in the Anba Bishoi Church (Plate 55), all panels here contain the identical ornamental design, implying perfection and accuracy. Very thin interlacing and flowing lines form circles around the vegetal and figural carvings, creating a lacework effect. They integrate with two tri- lobed leaves shaped at the top corners, two wing-shaped leaves, two seated men (one playing drums) 57 and other animal figures. The patterns also incorporate two Sassanid wing-shaped leaves (plate 39) that serve as a border enclosing two birds.

The rhombs contain thick borders in order to enhance their geometric shape. The core of the rhombs, as well as the spaces between them, are filled by Samarra scrolls. D. ‐ Location: 1885 from the Complex of Qala’ūn, presently in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo ‐ Size: 61 × 29 cm 91 ‐ Cutting: Deep ‐ MIA: 441 Visual Analysis and Interpretation Overview This panel (Plate 49) was found in the complex of Qala’ūn, which stands at what used to be the site of the western Fatimid palace. Unlike door panels in which figures are vertically engraved, the ornament of this panel is made up of figures in a mirror image.

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