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Tomb of Shaikh Salim Chishti: Detail of screen

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Tomb of Shaikh Salim Chishti: Detail of screen
Author(s): Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham
Keywords: Mughal Architecture-- Fatehpur Sikri-- Fatehpur Sikri - Gen. views, Jami Masjid Mosque, Buland Dharwaza, Khanqah;architectural ornament
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: With this detail as a background, we can see why scholars such as Ghyka call the architectural decoration of the Islamic peoples 'frozen music,' for nowhere else is there such an intimate relationship between rhythm and melody and the solid material of architecture as in the Islamic building. The screens shown here, from the mausoleum of Shaikh Salim Chishti, exemplify one of the five major motifs which comprise Moslem architectural decoration: geometric designs. One should not separate geometric forms from the more organic ones in Islamic decoration, however, for the patterns continually cross over into several categories at any given area. For example, all of these patterns on the mausoleum's screens can easily be made with a ruler and compass, yet their overall appearance is not strictly a collection of circles, squares or parallel lines. In a sense, the geometric motifs have become organic because their function called for liveliness. Another feature is important to note, one which helps distinguish Hindu carved screens from Islamic ones regardless of surface patterns: the Hindus would have carved their jali directly on the surface of the building - into the stone as it was already in place. Islamic builders cut, dress and carve their jali separately and put them on as a veneer. In a few areas, nonetheless, the Islamic builders would also carve directly on the stone. These would include some sections near the doors and the moldings for windows.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-2513


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