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Uzgend  

V. D. Goryacheva

[Uzgand; Uzgen]

Town in Kyrgyzstan. Located between the Kara and Yassa (Dzhaza) rivers in the eastern part of the Ferghana Valley, Uzgend is set on three hills and comprises three freestanding towns and citadels surrounded by suburban estates and gardens. The town developed in the 8th and 9th centuries along the Silk Route as a border post on the frontier between the lands of Islam and the Turks. In the 10th and 11th centuries it became the major trading and administrative center in the region and the fourth largest town in Ferghana, covering 12–15 sq. km. From the second half of the 11th century to the beginning of the 13th it was the capital of the Ferghana region of the Qarakhanid khanate, and the major architectural ensemble of the town, comprising three dynastic mausolea, the Friday mosque and minaret, and the remains of a madrasa, dates from this period. Square chambers with ...

Article

Varamin  

Abbas Daneshvari

[Varāmān; Waramin]

Town in Iran 60 km south-east of Tehran. It was an agricultural satellite of Rayy until the 1220s, when Rayy was irreparably destroyed by the Mongols. When economic life began to revive under the Mongol Ilkhanid dynasty (reg 1256–1353), Varamin developed into a major urban centre. Between 1322 and 1326 Hasan al-Quhadhi, a vizier from the region, built a splendid congregational mosque in the town (see Islamic art, §II, 6(i)(a)). It is an almost perfect example of the classical Iranian mosque: four iwans are set around a central courtyard, one of which leads to a domed area in front of the mihrab. Other work done under the Ilkhanids includes a number of tombs—the Imamzada Yahya (1261–3; restored 1305–7), the mausoleum of ‛Ala al-Din (1289) and the Imamzada Shah Husayn (c. 1330)—and the portal of the Sharif Mosque (1307). Numerous fragments of lustre tiles of the 1260s and 1300s that once decorated the Imamzada Yahya are now in collections in London (V&A), St Petersburg (Hermitage) and elsewhere. At the turn of the 14th century Varamin was subjected to devastating attacks by the armies of Timur (Tamerlane), so that the Spanish traveller Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo (...

Article

Vedat  

S. J. Vernoit

[Vedat BeyVedat Tek]

(b Istanbul, 1873; d Istanbul, 1942).

Turkish architect and teacher. After completing his secondary education at the Ecole Nonge in Paris, he studied painting at the Académie Julian and civil engineering at the Ecole Centrale, and then trained as an architect at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, completing his studies in 1897. On returning to Istanbul in 1899, he was employed by the Municipality, becoming chairman of the Supervising Committee for Public Works and later the chief architect. In 1900 he also became the first Turk to teach architectural history at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. Like his contemporary, Kemalettin, he played an important role in the development of a revivalist Turkish idiom in architecture, known as the First National Architectural Style, and his works and his writings reveal the theoretical approach behind the movement.

Vedat’s first major work, the Central Post Office (1909) in Sirkeci, Istanbul, employed such features of traditional Ottoman architecture as depressed or pointed arches and glazed tiles (...

Article

Veneto-Saracenic  

Sylvia Auld

Term applied to a large group of 15th- and 16th-century metal wares, primarily in European collections, once attributed to Muslim craftsmen working in Venice. The objects concerned—they include covered bowls with a rounded base or cylindrical form, spherical incense burners, candlesticks, buckets and salvers—are domestic in character. Made of brass (or bronze), they are inlaid with geometric or arabesque motifs in silver, with occasional traces of gold and frequent additions of a black compound, the widely differing designs being organized concentrically, centrifugally or centripetally. The term is sometimes loosely applied to objects decorated with figural ornament and Western coats of arms. None of the objects is dated, although a salver in Vienna (Mus. Angewandte Kst, GO.81) bears the date 1550 and the signature of Nicolo Rugina Greco da Corfu incised on the back; this inscription was probably added after the salver had been imported into the West. A number of pieces are signed by the masters ...

Article

Wakil, Abdel Wahed el-  

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Cairo, Aug 7, 1943).

Egyptian architect. He graduated from Ain-Shams University in Cairo in 1965. Between 1965 and 1970 he lectured at the university while studying and working with his mentor Hassan Fathy, the well-known proponent of vernacular architecture. In 1971 he went into private practice, eventually establishing offices in Cairo, Jiddah, and Ashford, Kent. He acted as an adviser to the Ministry of Tourism in Egypt (1972) and as consultant to UNESCO (1979–1980). From 1993 he was based in Miami, FL, with intervals spent in Saudi Arabia. In 1980 he won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for the Halawa house in Agamy, Egypt, completed in 1975. The two-story house was built around a courtyard, and the articulation of space was handled with great sensitivity and simplicity. Openings in the white walls filter light to the interior through carved wooden screens (Arab. mashrabiyyas), and much of the courtyard remains in shadow, staying cool during the heat of the day. From this small vacation house El-Wakil went on to design larger houses such as the spectacular Al Sulaiman Palace (1980) in Jiddah, which uses the same principles but on a more lavish and larger scale. For a short time, the architect toyed with other expressions of form but quickly returned to his exploration of tradition. El-Wakil’s most convincing designs have been those for mosques (for illustration ...

Article

Wiet, Gaston  

S. J. Vernoit

( Louis Marie Joseph )

(b Paris, Dec 18, 1887; d Neuilly-sur-Seine, April 20, 1971)

French historian of Islamic art. Son of Maxime Wiet and Berthe Rousseau and descendant of the English poet Sir Thomas Wyatt, from 1905 to 1908 Wiet studied Arabic, Persian and Turkish and Islamic history at the Ecole Nationale des Langues Vivantes, Paris, as well as acquiring a degree in law. In 1909 he joined the French Institut d’Archéologie Orientale in Cairo, where he met the orientalists Louis Massignon, Jean Maspéro, Max van Berchem , Henri Massé, René Basset, René Dussaud, Maurice Gaudefroy-Demombynes and William Marçais. In 1911 he was appointed professor of Arabic at the University of Lyon. He continued there until 1926, interrupted when he lectured on Arabic literature at the Egyptian University of Cairo and fought in World War I, receiving the croix de guerre for bravery. A member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres since 1925, Wiet continued the publication of van Berchem’s corpus of Arabic inscriptions. In ...

Article

Wilkinson, Charles  

Sheila R. Canby

( Kyrle )

(b London, Oct 13, 1897; d Sharon, CT, April 18, 1986).

American archaeologist, curator and collector . Trained as an artist at the Slade School, University College, London, in 1920 he joined the graphic section of the Egyptian Expedition to Thebes, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. During the 1920s and 1930s Wilkinson painted facsimiles of Egyptian tomb paintings in the museum collection, and he joined museum excavations in the Kharga Oasis (Egypt) and Qasr-i Abu Nasr and Nishapur (Iran). Transferred to the curatorial staff of the museum in 1947, he became curator in 1956 of the new Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art, which merged with the Department of Islamic Art in 1957. Through his energetic collaboration on major excavations at Hasanlu, Nimrud and Nippur, Wilkinson greatly expanded the Ancient Near Eastern collections at the Metropolitan Museum. After his retirement from the museum in 1963, he taught Islamic art at Columbia University and was Hagop Kevorkian Curator of Middle Eastern Art and Archaeology at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (...

Article

Wind catcher  

Susan Roaf

[Arab. bādahanj, malqaf; Pers. bādgīr]

Traditional form of natural ventilation and air-conditioning built on houses throughout the Middle East from North Africa to Pakistan. Constructed at least since the 2nd millennium bc in Egypt, wind catchers have also been used to cool caravanserais, water cisterns and mosques. Consisting of an open vent built on the roof facing into or away from the prevailing wind, wind catchers have shafts carrying the air down through the roof into the living area below, thereby ventilating and cooling the spaces. Wind catchers are generally placed above the summer rooms of courtyard houses. On the Iranian plateau, where the finest wind catchers are built, the vents are in the tops of brick towers which capture the faster airstreams above the general roof level. When there is little air movement, as on summer afternoons, the wind catcher acts as a chimney, drawing warm air up the shaft and through the living areas from the courtyard. In coastal settlements, towers generally face onshore winds. Most inland towers also face prevailing winds but in some desert settlements in the Yazd region of central Iran, where the prevailing wind is hot and dusty, vents similarly face away from the wind, and the preferred air from the courtyard is drawn through the summer rooms. In Iraq and central Iran, wind catchers are important in moderating the climate of the deep basements used as summer living rooms. In the Gulf and in Sind (the lower Indus region) wind catchers serve ground- and first-floor summer rooms....

Article

Windows in Islamic architecture  

Margaret Graves

Architectural opening to admit light and air that may be covered with a screen, grille, glass or shutters, or left without covering depending on the surrounding environment and climate. Windows in Islamic architecture frequently, although certainly not always, take the form of an Arches in Islamic architecture; such arch forms come in a dizzying varieties of types.

The use of marble or alabaster window grilles was adopted by Islamic architects from the Byzantine building tradition (see Islamic art §II, 3, (ii)), and has become a distinctive and often spectacular feature of Islamic architecture: for example, the stone window grilles of the Great Mosque of Damascus (705–15; see Great Mosque of Damascus [Umayyad Mosque]) and those in the Friday Mosque in Ahmadabad, India (1424). Wooden window grilles made up of pieces of turned wood arranged in intricate geometric patterns (Arab. mashrabiyya) became a characteristic of windows in many parts of the Islamic world, especially Egypt. Metal examples also exist, for example in the 15th-century madrasa and mausoleum of Amir Mahmud al-Ustadar in Cairo, although these tend to be less intricate. Panels of carved stucco were also used as ornate window grilles. Such stucco screens were carved away from the building site and then fitted to the window; they could consist of an outer unglazed screen and an inner layer containing colored glass, or of a single stucco panel ornately carved, such as those seen in the Mosque of Sunqur Sa‛di in Cairo (...

Article

Yazd  

[ Yezd ]

City in central Iran on the western edge of the central desert. Dependent on a system of underground aqueducts (Pers. qanāt), Yazd was an agricultural centre that flourished in the Middle Ages as an entrepôt on the trade route between Central Asia and the Gulf. The city, which was originally called Katha, dates at least from Sasanian times ( ad 226–645) when it was an important centre of Zoroastrianism. In the 7th century ad it was captured by Muslim forces. Although never a capital, it had a long and important tradition of architectural patronage in the Islamic period, which is extensively reported in local chronicles. In the 10th century it had a fortified citadel and houses built of unbaked brick. The tomb known as Duvazdah Imam (‘Twelve imams’; 1037–8) is notable for its early use of the trilobed squinch, a device that became a hallmark of architecture in Iran in the 11th and 12th centuries (...

Article

Yemen, Republic of  

[Arab. Al-Jumhūriyya al-Yamaniyya; formerly Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen; Yemen) and People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen)

Independent republic in south-western Arabia, including Socotra and other islands, with San‛a as the political capital and an estimated area of c. 636,000 sq. km. Yemen’s location at the crossroads between Arabia, the Indian Ocean and Africa, and particularly on the Red Sea route, has had an impact on its cultural heritage and turbulent political history. Along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden stretch arid plains rising to mountains and cultivated highlands, which descend in the east to desert and the distinct region of Hadramawt. The Arab population (c. 22,000,000; 2007 estimate), some of African origin, is mostly Sunni and Shi‛a Muslim, with small communities of Jews and Christians. The traditional tribal structure is strong, particularly in the north.

In the lst millennium bc until the first centuries ad South Arabia was the home of highly cultured city states, which owed their prosperity partly to the trade in frankincense and myrrh, native to the region. To the Greco-Roman world the land was known as ‘Fortunate Arabia’ (Gr. ...

Article

Yesari, Esad  

Gordon Campbell

[Mehmed Esad Yesari; Yesari; As‛ad Yasārī]

(d Istanbul, 1798).

Ottoman calligrapher. Born paralysed on the right side of his body and palsied on the left, he was given the nickname ‘Yesari’ (left-handed). He learnt the art of calligraphy from Mehmed Dedezade, gaining his diploma (Turk. icazet) in 1753–4. Appointed calligrapher at the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul by Mustafa III (reg 1757–74), Esad Yesari achieved fame for his mastery of nasta‛līq script (e.g. a calligraphic specimen, Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., G.Y. 325/4488), and his inscriptions adorn mosques, tombs, fountains and hospices in Istanbul. He was buried in the vicinity of the Fatih Mosque, Istanbul. Among his many pupils was his son Mustafa Izzet Yesarizade (d 1849), who received his diploma from his father. Mustafa Izzet wrote a beautiful nasta‛līq script and his inscriptions also adorn buildings in Istanbul.

See also: Islamic art, §III, 2(v): Calligraphy, after c 1800

Ş. Rado: Türk hattatları [Turkish calligraphers] (Istanbul, n.d.), pp. 182–4, 209...

Article

Article

Muhammad Yusuf  

[Mir Muḥammad Yūsuf al-Ḥusaynī Muṣavvir]

(fl Isfahan, 1636–66).

Persian painter. A prolific artist during the reigns of the Safavid shahs Safi (reg 1629–42) and ‛Abbas II (reg 1642–66), Muhammad Yusuf worked in a variety of styles. His earliest works, including the eight illustrations in a copy (1636; London, BL, Add. MS. 7922) of Baqi’s Dīvān (collected poetry) and single-page drawings and paintings (e.g. Youth Holding a Cane; Boston, MA, Mus. F.A., 14.637), exhibit fine draughtsmanship and a bright palette. In the 1640s he adopted a bolder calligraphic style for tinted drawings, such as the ones illustrating a copy of Hafiz’s Dīvān (1640; Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 1010) and several single-page compositions (e.g. Paris, Bib. N., MS. arabe 6074, fols 3r, 4v and 5r). This change from the artistic ideals of the early 17th century to a new linear style may have resulted from exposure to the work of his contemporary ...

Article

Zabid  

[ Zabīd ; Zebid]

City in Yemen about 20 km from the Red Sea. Located in a fertile area of the Tihama Plain where the pilgrimage route from the south of Yemen to Mecca crosses the Wadi Zabid, the city was founded in ad 820 by Muhammad ibn Ziyad, emissary of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma‛mun (reg 813–33) and progenitor of the semi-independent Ziyadid dynasty (reg 819–1018). The Ziyadids were responsible for erecting Zabid’s congregational mosque, which has a hypostyle plan, and for the first city wall, erected in 1001 by Husayn ibn Salama. The congregational mosque was remodelled under the patronage of the Ayyubid dynasty (reg 1174–1229), under whom the building was given its present form and a brick minaret. Zabid became the winter capital of the Rasulid dynasty (reg 1229–1454) and flourished as an important centre of Islamic learning, particularly for the Shafi‛i school of law, which was dominant along the Yemeni coast. The multi-domed al-Iskandariya Mosque (later incorporated in the citadel) appears to have been built under the ...

Article

Zaim, Turgut  

(b Istanbul, Aug 5, 1906; d Ankara, 1974).

Turkish painter and printmaker . He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul and worked as a teacher in Konya for a short period before graduating in 1930. The visit to Konya was his first to Anatolia, and it gave him the opportunity to observe the peasant and nomadic life. As a result Anatolian themes entered his work, although he used the techniques of Western painting. He was also inspired by East Asian art and by the Turkish miniature painting tradition. Upon graduation he went to Paris to continue his studies but stayed only a few weeks and returned to Turkey to teach in Sivas, where he rekindled his interest in Anatolian life. His works were exhibited in Istanbul by the D Group (founded 1933), which he later joined. In 1939 he participated in the tours to the provinces organized for artists by the Turkish government, returning from the town of Kayseri with a series of paintings. His individual style for depicting local scenes, which used well-defined forms in bright colours, became popular in Turkey, and the narrative element of his paintings related them to themes in Turkish folklore. Zaim’s aim was to develop a contemporary pictorial language to express life in Anatolia. He also produced etchings in the 1930s and linoleum prints in the early 1960s. His daughter ...

Article

Zakariya, Mohamed  

Margaret Graves

(b. Ventura, California, 1942).

American calligrapher. Having converted to Islam in the 1960s while still a teenager, he studied Islamic calligraphy, training with A. S. Ali Nour in Tangier, Morocco, and later studying at the British Museum in London. In the 1980s he felt his work had reached a plateau and decided to re-learn the art of calligraphy in the Ottoman style. Hence in 1984 he went to Istanbul to train with the Turkish calligraphers Hasan Çelebi and Ali Alparslan at the Research Center for Islamic History, Art, and Culture (IRCICA), where he was tutored in thuluth, naskh and nasta‛līq scripts. In 1997 he became the first American to receive an icazet or diploma from IRCICA for his abilities as a calligrapher. His calligraphic works are executed within meticulously observed traditional modes, reflected also in his insistence on making his own reed and bamboo pens. His works typically reflect the traditions of the Ottoman masters of the 19th century, with illuminations in the Turkish Baroque style. A pioneer in the field of Islamic calligraphy in the USA, his works have been exhibited widely in the USA and the Middle East. He has also revived the ancient art of making astrolabes, and examples of this aspect of his work are held in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the USA. Based for many years in Arlington, Virginia, in ...

Article

Muhammad Zaman  

Eleanor Sims

[Muḥammad Zamān ibn Ḥājjī Yūsuf Qumī]

(fl 1649–1704; d before 1720–21/ah 1133).

Persian painter. He was the foremost practitioner of stylistic eclecticism in 17th-century Safavid painting (see Islamic art, §III, 4(vi)(a)). In 20th-century writing on Persian painting he was confused with a Persian Christian called Muhammad-Paolo Zaman, who is mentioned in the Storia do Mogor, a history of Mughal India by the Venetian adventurer Niccolas Manucci (?1639–after 1712). According to Martin, for instance, Muhammad Zaman was sent by Shah ‛Abbas II to study painting in Rome in the 1640s; he returned a convert to Christianity and had to take refuge at the court of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, who gave him an official post in Kashmir. This theory would account for the distinctive features in his painting, such as figures in European dress, an interest in atmosphere, night scenes and cast shadows, and an elusive but pervasive flavour of Mughal India. In 1962, however, this account was discredited by the publication of the ...

Article

Zand  

S. J. Vernoit

Dynasty that ruled in Iran from 1750 to 1794. The Zand tribe, a pastoral people from the Zagros foothills, became the dominant power in Iran after the death of Nadir Shah in 1747. Under Muhammad Karim Khan (reg 1750–79), who proclaimed himself regent (Pers. vakīl) for the Safavid puppet king Isma‛il III, the Zands brought stability to southern Iran, and from 1765 Karim Khan encouraged art and architecture ( see Islamic art, §II, 7(ii)(b) ) to flourish at Shiraz , his adopted capital. His first consideration was defence, and he rebuilt the city walls in 1767. Many of his other buildings, such as the citadel, palace and mosque with adjacent bath and bazaar, were grouped around a maidan to the north of the old city. Zand architecture is notable for its revetments in carved marble and overglaze-painted tiles with flowers, animals and people. Some themes were consciously revived from nearby Achaemenid and Sasanian sites such as Persepolis and Naqsh-i Rustam. Painting also flourished under Karim Khan (...

Article

Zangid family  

[Zangī]

Islamic dynasty which ruled in northern Iraq, south-east Anatolia and Syria from 1127 to 1222. In 1127 ‛Imad al-Din Zangi, the son of a Turkish commander in the Saljuq army, was appointed governor of Mosul for the Saljuq sultan and guardian (Turk. atabeg) for his sons. The semi-independent Zangi expanded his dominion north and west and was granted Aleppo in 1129. He fought against the crusaders, most notably at Edessa in 1144. Zangi was succeeded by two independent branches of the family in Mosul and Aleppo. His son Nur al-Din (reg in Aleppo 1146–74) conquered Damascus in 1154, opposed the crusaders and sent his generals Shirkuh and Salah al-Din to Egypt, where the latter founded the Ayyubid dynasty. The Ayyubids succeeded the Zangids in Aleppo in 1183 and in Damascus in 1186.

Nur al-Din, a staunch Sunni, built many religious institutions, and fortified Aleppo, Damascus and other key sites. During his reign there was a Classical Revival in Syrian architecture as well as a wholehearted adoption of symmetrical building plans and forms, such as the iwan, typical of Abbasid architecture in Iraq. In his hospital (...