Piece of July. Lamp from the Alhambra’s Great Mosque

3cac6776c8 July’s Museum Piece of the Month is the lamp from the Alhambra’s Great Mosque. Every Saturday in July, from noon onwards, the Arabic Philologist Mariana Kalaitzidou will analyse this interesting piece in Room VII of the Museum of the Alhambra, as part of this free programme offered by Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife (PAG).

The mosque was always one of the core elements of Islamic architecture since earliest times. With this in mind, the talks will focus on the real and symbolic function of the lamp of the Great Mosque of the fortress city, and particularly its decorative epigraphs.Desde la primera época de su existencia, la mezquita destacó entre los motivos principales de la arquitectura islámica. En este sentido, la presentación se centrará en la lámpara de la mezquita mayor de la ciudad palatina, ofreciendo una visión más amplia de su función real y simbólica y sobre todo, a través de su decoración epigráfica.

Although a copy of the original, now in the National Archaeological Museum, the lamp is a piece of extraordinary beauty, providing valuable information about the constituent elements of mosques in general, and of the Great Mosque of the Alhambra in particular.

The talks will commence with a brief introduction to the mosque, its structure and its components, setting the context for a better understanding of the piece, before analysing the history and characteristics of the lamp itself, its function within the Mosque, and its decorative plant motifs and epigraphs.

Particular attention will be paid to the Nasrid dynastic motto, which occurs several times amongst the epigraphs, and the inscription running along its lower rim, which allows us to date the piece accurately. Following on from this, there will be a discussion on the different types of epigraph occurring around the Alhambra, the type of calligraphy used and the materials on which they appear.

The talks will wind up with a brief reference to the symbolic value of the epigraph as a decorative element in Islamic religious architecture, and to the practical and symbolic purpose of the lamp, in particular.

When: Every Saturday in May, from 12.00 noon onwards.

Where: Room VII, Museum of the Alhambra, Palace of Carlos V.

Source: Patronato de la Alhambra 

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