Mihrab or Tombstone

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Mihrab or Tombstone

Iran, 12th century
Stone
Marble
29 1/4 x 17 1/2 in. (74.3 x 44.45 cm)
Gift of Nasli M. Heeramaneck (M.73.7.1)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

It is not immediately apparent whether this stone, carved with a niche design, functioned as a mihrab or a tombstone, as it resembles both....
It is not immediately apparent whether this stone, carved with a niche design, functioned as a mihrab or a tombstone, as it resembles both. Within and around the central niche design are inscriptions written in rectilinear and cursive scripts (Kufic and naskh, respectively), which quote from the Qur’an but without reference to a deceased. One of these quotations refers to the act of prayer (17:78–79), lending support to the argument that this object is a mihrab.
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Bibliography

  • Lo Terrenal y lo Divino: Arte Islámico siglos VII al XIX Colección del Museo de Arte del Condado de Los Ángeles. Santiago: Centro Cultural La Moneda, 2015.

  • Komaroff, Linda.  Islamic Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Los Angeles:  Museum Associates, 2005.