Name of Object:
Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum
Date of Object:
Hegira 1009 or 1012 / AD 1600–01 or 1603
Artist(s) / Craftsperson(s):
Halab Shah ibn Isa.
Museum Inventory Number:
Material(s) / Technique(s):
Wood, multi-layered painting using a variety of pigments and metal coatings.
Height 260 cm, total length 35 metres
Period / Dynasty:
A prosperous broker and a Christian citizen of the town of Aleppo commissioned the painted panels of the walls of the entrance room in his house at the beginning of the 17th century. The paintings within the Aleppo room thus make up the oldest collection from a Syrian dwelling house from the Ottoman period. The Christian patron engaged craftsmen from the best workshops of the time in his desire for the entrance room, into which his guests would first arrive, to be painted in a variety of themes. These themes were based on contemporary Islamic book illustration, consisting of floral and geometric compositions, rendered in the best traditional Ottoman style. Christian themes from the Old and New Testaments, and the depiction of Mary with Child, sit alongside courtly scenes like those portrayed in Persian book illustration. The selection of encircling Psalms, Arabic proverbs and Persian principles further add to the impression of a peaceful community of different religious beliefs living together.
View Short Description
The painted wooden panels belong to the audience room in a house of a Christian merchant in Aleppo, Syria, which is the only surviving example of a painted and dated room from the 17th century. Its ornamental and figural repertoire includes Christian themes as well as Arabic verses.
Isa ibn Butrus (Jesus, son of Peter)
How date and origin were established:
Two dates are inscribed in different places in the Aleppo Room: 1009 (1600–01) and 1012 (1603).
How Object was obtained:
Acquired in Aleppo by Friedrich Sarre for the Museum of Islamic Art in 1912.
How provenance was established:
The Aleppo Room was obtained in 1912 by Friedrich Sarre in Aleppo. The deeds certify that the room was originally in House Wakil in Aleppo, where it was also photographed in situ prior to 1912.
Duda, D., Innenarchitektur Syrischer Stadthäuser des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts: Die Sammlung Henri Pharaon in Beirut, Beiruter Texte und Studien, 12, Wiesbaden, 1971.
Citation of this web page:
Annette Hagedorn "Aleppo Room" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=object;isl;de;mus01;39;en
Prepared by: Annette Hagedorn