V&A Style in Islamic Art Quiz

Complex geometry

Geometric patterns became more complex in Mamluk art. On the sides of the minbar, or mosque pulpit, are triangular panels made of hundreds of small pieces of wood and ivory. They are arranged in a pattern of straight lines that probably represents the rays of the sun. Complex geometry also underlies the three-dimensional pattern you can see above the door. It consists of rows of small niches and is called ‘muqarnas’.

Minbar
Egypt, probably Cairo
1468-96
Museum No. 1050-1869

Minbar