Name of Object:

Frieze

Location:

Tangiers, Morocco

Holding Museum:

Kasbah Museum

 About Kasbah Museum, Tangiers.

Date of Object:

Hegira 8th century / AD 14th century

Museum Inventory Number:

90.B. 3

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Sculpted and vanished cedarwood.

Dimensions:

Height 31.5 cm, length 244.5 cm, depth 5 cm

Period / Dynasty:

Marinid

Provenance:

Fez.

Description:

The upper part of this long panel is decorated with a traditional Marinid ribbon of eight-petal rosettes between two fillets. The main section sits below this band and is divided into two decorative areas.
The lower area consists of plant motifs in low relief: noduled foliage and smooth double palms.
The upper area consists of alternating high-relief arcatures in two different sizes. They consist of two superposed arches separated by a groove: the upper arch is undulated and the lower arch consists of double-palm lobes and is rendered in cavetto.
The large arcatures are crowned with fleurons that cut into the rosette band. They contain an inscription in twisted pseudo-kufic characters with floral upstrokes and bear a mirror image of the word 'yumn' (prosperity), similar to the motifs used in Marinid architectural decoration.
The smaller ones are stamped with a ribbed six-lobe palmette and crowned with plant decoration surrounded by two bound lobes and flanked by adventitious floral upstrokes that extend beyond the sides of the large arcatures.
The movement of the floral motifs, which is harmoniously adapted to the shape of the epigraphic decoration, and the spacing of the spandrels of the arches, as well as their large and rigorous rendering, make this well-made Marinid piece particularly interesting.

View Short Description

The decorative elements of this panel (rosette frame, arches, pseudo-epigraphic inscriptions, palmette and floral motifs) along with their layout and execution are reminiscent of the decorated friezes found at the top of gallery walls in Fez's Marinid madrasas.

How date and origin were established:

From comparative analysis. The decorative elements of this panel, rosette frame, arches, pseudo-epigraphic inscription, palmettes and floral motifs, as well as their layout and execution are reminiscent of the ornamentation found on friezes on top of the walls in the galleries of Marinid madrasas in Fez, in particular the Buinaniya.

How Object was obtained:

Salvaged.

How provenance was established:

Salvaged in Fez.

Selected bibliography:

Cambazard-Amahan, C., Le décor sur bois dans l'architecture de Fès, Paris, 1989.
Marçais, G., L'architecture musulmane d'Occident, Paris, 1954.
Terrasse, Ch., Médersas du Maroc, Paris, 1927.
Terrasse, H. and Hainaut, J., Les arts décoratifs au Maroc, Paris, 1925.

Citation of this web page:

Naima El Khatib-Boujibar "Frieze" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;ma;Mus01_F;39;en

Prepared by: Naima El Khatib-Boujibar
Copyedited by: Margot Cortez
Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen


MWNF Working Number: MO 59