Thursday, July 08, 2010

ISLAMIC TILES talk by Dr Venetia Porter

Saturday 26th June at Chacewater Village Hall.
Despite this being the hottest day of the year nearly 40 members with some guests attended this excellent talk on Islamic Tiles at Chacewater. 

Venetia Porter is a curator of Islamic & Contempory Middle Eastern Art at the British Museum and is responsible for the collection of Islamic art, in particular the Arab world and Turkey as well as the collection of the modern and contemporary art of the Middle East.  

Her talk concentrated on the tile production in Turkey and Syria between the 15th and 18th centuries these tiles being characterised by their brilliant range of colours and designs. Many of these tiles made in Persia and Syria show the dominating influence of the blue-and-white porcelains of Ming China featuring plant and animal forms. The range of tiles shown was extensive, from individual examples to larger panels and decoration of whole buildings, including the most spectacular examples of Iznik tiles to be seen in Istanbul, the most famously in the ‘Blue Mosque’.  

Outstanding tiled buildings from the 14th & 15th centuries can be seen in Samarkand while the best examples from the 16th & 17th centuries are in Isfahan with Damascus the prominent tile-producing city during this period. 

Closer to home, Venetia showed us the work of William De Morgan and his tiled ‘Arab Hall’ in Leighton House, London. Stimulating and informative, this event was very well attended and received by the CCGG and friends. 

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