The fifteenth century saw a great development in the fluency with which tilework mosaic was executed. One of the finest examples, where a whole range of different styles can be seen, is the Darb-e-Imam, completed in 1453 under the Qara Quiunlu ruler, Jahanshah. The picture above shows the spandrels above the pishtaq which demonstrate the delicacy which the craftsmen had achieved by this time, with white tendrils overlaying secondary patterns of gold, which in turn overlay a background of turquoise tendrils and white flowers. This is boldly contrasted with decoration in a much older style made up of coloured tiles inserted into the brickwork in symmetrical patterns, from which it is divided by a border made up of alternating crosses and lozenges laid on the same background of turquoise tendrils and white flowers.
The high level of skill achieved by craftsmen at this time is also demonstrated by the raised tilework panels which are found in the Main eivan of the Masjed-e-Jomeh and on the walls of the pishtaq at the Darb-e-Imam. There are very few instances of this treatment outside Isfahan and it is likely that they were all done by the same craftsman.
Contrast this with the simpler treatment of a hundred years before as shown in the previous page.
Last Updated: December 18, 1998