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Decoding Sixteenth-Century Muqarnas Drawings Author(s): I. I. Notkin Reviewed work(s): Source: Muqarnas, Vol. 12 (1995), pp.

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I.I. NOTKIN

DECODING SIXTEENTH-CENTURY MUQARNAS DRAWINGS


Architectural drawings dating from before the ninebut those few that do exist teenth centuryare a rarity, permit us to look into the creative processes of earlier timesand gain insightinto the processes of architectural design thatoftenreveal a world of thoughtverydifferent
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from our own.' But this dialogue across the centuries methods used requires an understandingof the drafting in the past, and often we are confronted by drawings whose design language cannot easily be deciphered. Even the partially published collection of muqarnas

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in scale models made of paper. (a) muqarnasmodel, (b) and theirspatialtreatment Fig. 1. Ustad ShirinMuradov'ssketchesof stalactites muqarnassketch. muqarnasmodel; (d) Ciraqi muqarnassketch,(c) Ciraqi

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drawings by the well-knownmodern Bukharan master builder Ustad ShirinMuradov (1880-1957) uses a system of coded designs I could not have understood had I not met Muradov himself during restoration work on the monuments of Samarqand and Bukhara, when he explained how he created each of his sketchesof muqarnas vaults, capitals, and cornices.2 He executed each plan according to the laws of orthogonal projection, at the same time using a web a of lines and conventional signs to represent successive corbeled tiers of modular muqarnas cells (fig.la-d). In earlier centuries elevations and sections of muqarnas configurationswere not completely worked out, a bythe rational technology practice thatwas fullyjustified of muqarnas construction: the height of a muqarnas tier- whetherof brick,terracotta, stone, or plasterwithina framing niche or vaultwas oftenthe same.JudgTimurid mathematical ing by the late-fifteenth-century

treatiseby Ghiyathal-Din al-Kashi,in which the muqarnas is discussed3and by the informationprovided to me by Ustad Shirin Muradov, this scale was proportionally correlated with the horizontal divisions of modular muqarnas units. In practice, however,it was adjusted to fitthe formatof any given space. For the realization of his spatial conception itwas enough forthe masterbuilder to enlarge the two-dimensional to plan proportionally full scale according to specific dimensions and to prepare and assemble all the component units of the elevation on the building site on the basis of a drawingon paper. In principle, the two-dimensionalrepresentation of the complex three-dimensional muqarnas form was abbreviatedaccording to traditionaldesign conventions. A set of muqarnas drawingsfromthe sixteenthcentury, preserved today in the Uzbek Instituteof Oriental Studies of the Academy of Sciences in Tashkent, illustrates

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ofthesixteenth-century sketches: in architectural stalactites monuments ofBukhara: ofChor-Bakr (1) thenecropolis Fig.2. Analogues ofBahauttin ofMir Arab(1535-36); (sixteenth (2) thekhanqah (sixteenth (3) themadrasa (4) themadrasa century); century); ofJuibariKalian(1670-71); an incomplete stalactite ofAbdulaziz Khan(1651-52); and (6) themadrasa ofTursunJon decoration; (5) themadrasa (1796-97).

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well the sketchy manner in which muqarnas projections were rendered.4The first to note the existence of these drawings was N.B. Baklanov.5 In 1944 these drawings attractedhis attentionbecause theyincluded, along with the muqarnas projections and girihs(two-dimensional geometric interlaces), several ground plans which were more immediately comprehensible and therefore of interestto Baklanov and other scholars who were studying the engineeringand technological aspects of Central Asian architecture."G.A. Pugachenkova in her publications then commented on several of the more complicated muqarnas drawings, but without decoding them - that is, she did not interpretthe boundaries of theircorbeled tierswhich reflectthe spatial conception of each sketch.' My interest in these drawings firstbegan in 1952, inspired by the work of B.I. Zasypkin (1891-1955)," who had long studied the work of traditional builders and craftsmen.From the forty-six folios of the architectural drawings discovered by A.A. Semenov, who began the work of restoringthem, and Baklanov, I selected thirtysix examples depicting muqarnas and Ciraqi (i.e., stellate arch-netor squinch-net) vault projections. The dimensions of these drawingsvary, but none exceeds 31 centimeters. They were executed on thick paper and had been pasted at some later time on light-weight cardboard. The sketches had deteriorated from prolonged use; the original designs (in black ink drawnwitha reed pen or qalam,and withcolors rendered bybrush or pen) are worn,and there are rips and tearsalong the edges of severalfolios.But on the whole theyare legible, and one is immediatelystruckby theirheterogeneity. Among the most impressive examples of muqarnas projections are some large-scale drawingsexecuted in a rathercoarse technique (drawings13-18; figs.9-14).9 Of equal interest are some medium-scale ones, differing from the firstgroup in their more confident drawing and the arrangement of a significantly greater number of tiersin a comparable area (drawings19-32; figs.1528); and small-scale sketches filled to the limit with a design of muqarnas projections colored in yellow,red, green, and ochre tones, and sometimes using stippling as well (drawings33-36; figs.29-32). In the harmonyof the whole and in the details, the graphic language of each folio of thisgroup of drawingsbears a resemblance to Qur~anic calligraphy. This parallel has its roots in the use of geometric modules, such as squares, rhombuses, and rhomboids in the proportioned lettersof the Arabic alphabet and in muqarnas drawings;the latteralso feature irregularpointed stars.'0

The structural complexity" of muqarnas design reflectsthe evolutionarydevelopment of stalactitesysComplexityis relativeand increaseswiththe multems."12 waves of each row of muqartiplicationof the rhythmic nas tiers and their various combinations. A historic transformations of surveyof the aestheticand structural the muqarnas over the centuries reveals rapid growth followedby a slowdownin innovationafterthe fifteenth in the century.The conventional muqarnas half-vaults mausoleums of Shah-i Zinda (Samarqand, fourteenth blocks, century),composed of severaltypesof terra-cotta which had limited rhythmic possibilities,represent the simplestorganismsof stalactitesystems.13 The fifteenth of centurywas marked by the flowering Timurid architectureand the unusual inventivenessof the plaster (Persian, gach) muqarnas with rhythmically arranged multiple stars.This method continued in use in sixteenth-century Uzbek Bukhara. In the seventiesof the sixteenth centurystellate vaults of the Ciraqil4type (e.g., in the madrasa of Kukeldash in Bukhara) were generated by sections of intersectingarches and flat of structures stars.'5One can note also the hypertrophy created earlier (e.g., the madrasa of Abdul-Aziz Khan, of 1651-52) and the reduction in size and simplification prototypes. In each evolvingarchitecturalform,however,several profound tectonic problems were resolved. For examzone witha ple, the taskof bridginga square transitional the same. While in the inspherical dome was invariably teriors of Central Asian monuments the architectonic components - squares, "sails" (that is, kite-shapedvault sections that we will here refer to as "kites") and articulated, plaster stalacsquinches - are structurally titesconsistof decorativeshells thatbreak down the transitional zones of vaults and domes into multiple facets displaying a certain compositional unity.Like a chess game, the muqarnas vault consists of an "opening," a "middle game," and an "end game." The opening involves mainly standard moves, that is, of scalloped rings in the top tiers of the muqarnas; the middle features wave-shaped rhythms generated with the help of medium- and small-sizedstars.The game ends with the fadingenergyof the middle wavesat thewalljoint,where stars,which fillup the corners,play a role. Without a doubt, before workingout each new plan for a muqarnas vault, the architecthad to visualize its first in his head and compositional scheme and typology, then schematicallyon paper. Although we have no written documents to support this, it is difficultto avoid reaching such a conclusion from the evidence of the

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muqarnas drawings and survivingmuqarnas vaults. In practice, there are a number of relationships between the geometry,function, and lighting of a space decorated withmuqarnas vaultingand the typeof stalactites, their dimensions, and their number of corbeled tiers. Thus, forthe mihrab niches and small-domedchambers of the darvazakhana (Persian, gatehouse) type, two or three rows of muqarnas tiers were sufficient, but for large halls, theirnumber could be fiveto ten timesthat. Certain compositional premises and formal limitations are inherentin the plaster muqarnas, whose structurehas changed littleover the last fivecenturies.This is corroborated both by the partiallysurvivingmuqarnas examples in extant architecturalmonuments from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and by the recent of the work done by supervision by restorer-architects'" traditionalmaster builders in Samarqand and Bukhara in creatingsimilarstructures today. On the floor under the prospectivemuqarnas vault,a (Arabic plaster slab was constructed,known as a takhmin for "approximation"), on which a full-scale working sketchof the muqarnas vaultwas scratched. On thistwodimensional pattern,where the edges of each muqarnas row were indicated with lumps of clay or ceramic bars, plaster plates of alternating two-and three-centimeter horizontal thicknesseswere cast for all the tiers of the vault. These plates (constitutingshelves parallel to the floor) were bonded to the wall and to the vaultwithplaster and, if necessary,were supported by wooden struts that bore theirweight. Correspondence to the plan on the takhmin was verified by plumbline. Thin vertical plates provided additional structural strength to this construction.The plates were created between the corbeled horizontal layersof shelves according to the plan indicated on the takhmin. On this skeletal framework, rendered with quick-drying plaster,a thin, hand-made into carvingof muqarnas cells was executed which fitted the spatial grid of the horizontal and verticalopenings, forminga unifiedwhole. As I developed an understanding of how plaster decorative shells separate muqarnas vaults (constituting from the structuralcurve of the vault) were produced, the role of plans on paper became undeniable. The most Bukharan muqarnas complex of the sixteenth-century drawings,which took many years to decode, required remains.This comparing the drawingswitharchitectural was a slow, laborious process of trial and error; it took considerable practice to interprettraditional drawings with their coded conventions. The main problem they posed lay in determining the boundaries of their cor-

beled rows. To do that, I covered a photocopy ofone of thedrawings with I outlined the tracing paperon which rows.Then I filledin the rowsby assuming thatwhat consisted of a relatively standarjoined themtogether dized setoffiller units. All thetiers, from moving topto Difficulties arose bottom,thus became distinguished. because of deviations from the organiccoordination of the successive rowsand the appearanceof atypical elementswherethe corbeledtiers wereconnectedto the facade of the building.The two-dimensional drawing appeared as a mass of tangledthreadsthathad to be unraveled. The unraveling of the individualrows began with thejuncturesof the stars, the niche-like defining positionofthestars, their full or truncated and the contours, out or thickening of the rowsframing them thinning thatrevealgreatversatility both in extantmonuments from thesixteenth and seventeenth and in our century At timesthreeor fourtierscan be counted drawings. situations (forexsimultaneously, leadingto ambiguous the kite-like units at the ofthe ample, sloping, junctures rowsbecome vertical are which not rectangular plates marked on the Often the stars remain disalways plans). as if to offer the readerthe opportunity to connected, them in several All this allows us interpet possible ways. in some instances to extract severaldifferent, but logbut in each case we chosea constructions, ically possible variant which seemedthemost preferable design option, in figures 21,25, and exceptin thecase ofthedrawings 31where we also showpossible alternative constructions. the theconTechnically procedure required delineating tours ofthemultiple corbeledtiers from theweb ofthe them in inkwith continmuqarnas drawing byoutlining uous lines,accompanied bystippling. The architects and designers did notincludein their final a projection ofthefaceted fabdrawing connecting ricand theledgeswhichare formed at thejunctures of therows. Insteadthey used little cellswhich kite-shaped resemble rhombuses or barley seeds at thejunctureof rows with stars. we turned to Havingdecoded themuqarnas drawings their of rowsof stars to verify thecontinuity of massing therows and their denudedofdetails. A rhythmic system of our findings summary (fig.35) takesintoconsiderationeach drawing in terms ofitsscale and levelofstructuralcomplexity. Fromit thefollowing conclusions can be drawn: 1.The basicpurposeoftheinitially incomprehensible conventional on theTashkent is to distinsigns drawings rows from theweb.The guishtheedgesofthesuccessive

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coded vocabularyof the systemexpanded as the muqarnas systemdepicted became more complicated. For example, the relatively simple linear sketches of the Ciraqi vaults and cornices are completely devoid of conventional signs.The not verycomplex muqarnas projections of Ustad ShirinMuradov utilizeonlyone sign,a small circle. The group of large-scalesixteenth-century drawings use onlythickinkingin black,while the small-scaledrawings mainly use nuanced, often colored drawings. In them multiple readings of the ambiguous rows is cultivated, and the selective color scheme of the cells supporting the starssuggeststhat the master builder made an effortto create an intricatedrawing not so easy to decipher. The coding was obviouslyintended for those who understood the conventional systemof the muqarnas projections. The complexityof the designs reflected a desire to protect the designer's rights among colThe muqarleagues initiatedinto the secretsof the craft. nas drawingsin Tashkent appear to have been the output of a guild of Bukharan architectsand designers of the sixteenthcentury whose craft was based on the work of theirpredecessors. 2. Judgingby the inscriptionson the muqarnas drawings which Ustad ShirinMuradov executed, itwas necessary to indicate type (Ciraqi,muqarnas), function (gumbad, dome chamber; sharafa,cornice; kalla, capital; or small dome on a cofferedceiling), and the numkhazak, ber of rows. In the Tashkent drawings,inscriptionsare used only on some of the folios. Excluding the Ciraqi group because of its limited adaptabilityand infrequent use, the muqarnas projectionsfallinto fourbasic categories: (1) cornice; (2) dome, eitheron a square base or on a faceted base of intersecting arches, or on columns, or on an octagonal zone of transition formedbyarches; (3) niche-like spaces, half-domes, or other proportions based on two squares; and (4), kitesin the squinch corners, and square or triangularvault sections along the baseline of domes. The vaultsection, arranged in an arched niche or corner kite,was apparently the most valued arrangement. To achieve it,it is necessaryto flatten the border sections of the middle rowsand enclose themwithinthe curve of an arc. This complex operation is skillfully executed in all the sketches of niche and kite muqarnases in the Tashkentgroup. The muqarnas based on radical compositions of underlyinggrid systemscould be adapted to different architecturalframeworks, no matterhow comThis testifies to the sophisticated plicated theirstructure. masterbuilders spatial thinkingof the sixteenth-century and theirskillin resolvingdesign problems.

3. The muqarnas can be regarded as a sort of wall sculpture;it is oftendecorated withornamental painting and tile mosaics, and the artisticexpressivenessof these worksshares an affinity withthe plastic arts.The spatial structureof the muqarnas can be decoded in surviving distribution of the rows drawingsbynoting the rhythmic and stars in multi-tieredreliefs, niche-shaped semidomes, and faceted ledges formedby them. Muqarnas drawingsoscillating in convex-concave eucan be classifiedin order of size fromthe simrhythmics plest to the most complex compositions.Their contrastlaid out in tabularform,affirm the intimate ing rhythms, connection between the relativescale of a muqarnas, the number of rows,and theirformalcomplexity, withsmallscale and multi-tiered muqarnas projections occupying the highestlevel of complexity. Movement towarda complex form is also conditioned by the practice of fragmenting vaults into variously shaped compartments. of Through such a classification,the unusual diversity muqarnas vaults for chambers with square bases is revealed, as theyencompass all the levels of complexity outlined. Structuralcomplexitycan be associated withthe origiand richnessof content in the combinanality, maturity, tion of heterogeneous elements.The classification chart we have provided (figs. 33-35) and its graphic models can be used as an analyticaltool to create new stalactite systems encompassing similarqualities. 4. There is bynow an extensiveliterature published by my architecturalcolleages in Tashkent proving that in the pre-modern architecture of Central Asia various methods of proportioningwere used, based on the derivatives of a square, the golden section, equilateral triangles, and other geometric figures." Designing girihs units of different in rectplanar repeat geometricfigures witha rational or irrationalrelationangular frameworks ship of sides - was particularly popular.'8 Undoubtedly thisentirearsenal of applied geometry was knownto the architectswho created muqarnas drawings.The skillful use of similar geometric operations with the help of a compass and ruler is evidentin the muqarnas configurationsof monumentsfromthe twelfth and thirteenth centuriesonward and in later adaptations of them thatwere used to fill portal niches and corner kites in sixteenthcenturymausoleums. Ip time, however,this convenient system of construction with its rhythmicmodularity along the baseline of the vault was exhausted, since it encountered contradictionswithits new primary role of vault compositions using providingradiallysymmetrical plaster muqarnas shells. Nevertheless, the individual

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motifs of the girih remained - the layingout of the stars, their frameworks, and the elastic turn of the axes of knotswithminimaladdition of atypicalelements.All this can be seen in a careful examination of the sixteenthcenturyTashkent drawings- in the axial layouts, circles, and stippled stars. Eventually stalactite systems because homogeneous and standardized. The sixteenthstalactites thatbelong to thislaterstage were crecentury ated bya method of selectingstandard gridsof intersectthatwas devoid of aesthetic ing arcs and theirderivatives meaning. 9 Analogies to the harmonyof spatial relationof sixteenth-century muqarnas ships and the rhythms drawings apparentlyshould be sought not so much in of Euclidean geometryas in the structure the framework of anisotropic natural organisms and musical counterpoint theory. 5. Along withsome haphazard notationsadded in the 1930's to the original drawings(typeof vault,number of rows), one of the sketcheshas an original inscriptionin Persian between the interval of a stalactitevault and a kite-shapedsquinch (drawing 36, fig.32). It reads as follows:

it as it ought to be and not think that this [fellow] has made a mistake."'"2 The muqarnas drawing has one of the most elegant groupings of rows with a resilient rhythmof stars, arranged in dual doublets. Equipping the plan withcoded signs is normal for this group of multiple-rowed muqarnas projections. The intricacyof its structureexplains the significance the muhandis2attributedto the rebus. The author's addressing "the friendswho are practitioners of thiscraft""22 indicates thatthe sketchwould onlybe read by a narrow circle of colleagues. It does not, howthatthe design worked out ever,eliminate the possibility in the formof a complex muqarnas proby the muhandis jection could have been constructedbyother craftsmen. Monumental inscriptionsprovide an analogous examwould work out the prople. The calligrapher (khattadt)

oftheletters and therhythm oftheinscription portions in conformity with itssize,thedimensions of thegravestoneor building, and choosethewriting The exestyle. whoincidentally weresometimes illitcraftsmen, cuting erate or semiliterate, used templatesmade by the or the latter, in exceptional cases, calligraphers, on thesurface himself. designedtheinscription This givesus an idea of how the sixteenth-century muhandises who were responsiblefor designingthe and the varioustypesof multipleTashkent drawings tiered in them contained worked. muqarnas projections A reverent attitude thesedrawings is sometimes toward manifested which filltheir combyQur'anic quotations For example, on folio 34, where a fourpartments. domedspace (chahar decorated with gumbad) muqarnas is presented, thecenter ofthecomposition is covered in "Thereis no god butGod,and with squaredKufic script is theProphet ofGod." Repeatedalongthe Muhammad of is the perimeter design "Powerbelongsto God." At firstglance there is nothingunusual in someone's the profession of faithon an architectural inscribing But one must under drawing. suppose thata muhandis theinfluence ofSufi ideasalso had notions aboutthetraditionalIslamicsymbolism of architectural forms: from ~~ L ? 9\ J, j\ L the oaf (Jali) &1 9\ ;[ ]\L; of view of Muslim the chahdr point gumcosmology, badcan be interpreted as an imageoftherealworld, conof the four of the sisting parts earth.23 These are onlyhintsas to the moraland ethicalattiMaclhim-i yaran-iahl-i hunar bashad dar shum[d]ra-i in muhandis. Combinedwith muqarnasmuqayyad bayadshudtdaz hdl-i in kamdhaqquhu tudeof thesixteenth-century his our skills, special drafting they obviously supplement khabar u napinddrimn ghalatkardaast. ydbz ofthepre-modern Central Asianbuilding knowledge syson the factthat, no matter of temand forceus to reflect "May it be known to the friendswho are practitioners thiscraft[art] thatin counting thismuqarnas it is neces- how literate, in those timesarchitects occupied the stratum ofthetwelve strata ofthe"feudal" social saryto pay carefulattentionso thatyou may know about eighth
-

order.4

In sum,itis difficult notto see in thesesixteenth-cenmanifestations of a cultureof tury muqarnasdrawings orderand sophisticated unsurpassed synthesizing imagination on a globalscale perhaps to thefancomparable ciful ofspirituality in theBuddhist architecture of flights India, China, and Japan and in the European Gothic Whatis surprising is thatthesearchitectural workstyle. with their widerangeofmodifications and ingdrawings, exclusive languageforcoding orthogonal projections, in a picturesque, result paradoxically artistically expressivefinal accessible to all. product Could onelforetell exhaustion forthisculture? Byno means.Asidefrom an intellectual and pleasurable sup- one can imaginemodernexplyof beautiful objects amplesofplaster muqarnas beingreproduced according

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I. I. NOTKIN uzbekskogo mastera XVI v.," Akademiiaarkhitektury SSSR, Soobshcheniia in-taistorii i teorii vol. 4 (Moscow, arkhitektury, 1944). See K.S. Kryukov, "Modul' v pamiatnikakh sredneaziiatskogo 17 (1964); V.M. Filimozodchestva,"Arkhitekturnoe nasledstvo zdaniiv Srednov,"Osnovy monumental'nykh proektirovaniia in TashZNIIEP of theTashnei Azii X-XI vekov," (publications kent Regional ScientificResearch Instituteof Typical and ExperimentalDesign for Residentialand Public Buildings), "Iskusstvo vol. 3 (Tashkent, 1964); P.Sh.Zakhidov, proektirovaniia v tvorchestve zodchikhUzbekistana," narodnykh Iskusstvo zodchikh Uzbekistana 1 (1962); A.M. Pribytkova, "O metode in Istoriia i kul'tura zodchikh," proektirovaniia srednevekovykh Srednei narodov Azii(Moscow:Nauka, 1976). See G.A. Pugachenkova,"Arkhitekturnye zametki,"Iskusstvo 1 (1962); idem, "Ob obshchestvennom zodchikh Uzbekistana polozhenii i roli srednevekovogo zodchego v Srednei Azii," 4 (1969). zodcheikh Iskusstvo Uzbekistana Boris NikolaevichZasypkinwas the founder of the Soviet restoration of architectural school ofscientific monuments in CentralAsia. See A.M. Pribytkova, "B.I. Zasypkin (nekrolog)," Arkhitekturnoe 8 (1957). He was also mymentorand nasledstvo inspiredthisresearch. The types of stalactites, detailsabout themand the terms used in literary are farfrom sourcesand among recent synonymous nationalmasters, and therefore merita special study. The disof paritiescan be seen on the following example: (1) all types stalactites (serried, joined) are muqarnas,as opposed to (2) elements as "staalong with muqarnaswhichare characterized a spatialformconsisting of graduatedcombinations lactites," of arched cells. See P.Sh. Zakhidov, zodshkola Samarkandskaia chikh XIX nachalo xxveka(Tashkent: Nauka,1965), p. 165.This same authorsinglesout Ciraqi of stalacmuqarnasas "a variety tite[which]in form reminds one of thesystem ofintersecting arches and small shield-likekites. In contrastto the tahta Arabic,meaningto have a lowersupportor horizontal (from shelf) muqarnas, it does not have littlehorizontalshelves" (ibid.,p. 164). Our positionwithregardto thisis close to that of P.Sh. Sakhidov. 1 to 36 accordingto theirgrowI numberedthesketches from The sketchescan be foundin the filesof the ing complexity. archiveoftheInstitute ofOrientalStudiesoftheAN UzSSR as follows: file1 has nos. 20-23, 26, 27, and 29; file2 has nos. 12, 14-19,24, and 28; file4 has nos. 25, 30, 33, and 36; file6 has nos. 31,32, 34, and 35; and file5 has nos. 1-11,and 13. Arthistorians and historians are beginning to understand that at therootoftheMuslimartistic of theworldis the perception Arabicscript(see L.I. Rempel', "Izobrazitel'nyi kanon i stilistikaformna SrednemVostoke,"in Problema kanonav srednevekovom iskusstve Azii i Afriki (Moscow: Nauka, 1973), p. 167; Sh. Irana (Moscow: Nauka, Shukurov, Iskusstvo srednevekovogo 1989), pp. 25, 27 ff. definescomplexity as "the N.I. Kondakov,Logicheskii slovar', level of development of a substancefrom whichthe complex of the mutualrelations object is composed and the character among the elementsof thisobject." workofArthur Judging bythewell-known Upham Pope on the artofPersiaand his critical of theworks citations of his predestudiesof theapplicationofstalactites to architectural cessors, monumentsof the MuslimEast are very concise,and limited to the twelfth-fourteenth centuries and terrichronologically

drawto the design principles of the sixteenth-century ings - the inspirationthisvisual music can provide the contemporarycomposer is capable of enriching the artisticwork he creates today.A comparison of the structural genetic organization of the muqarnas and its algorithmic procedure of formation with a systematic in various arapproach can prove unexpectedlyeffective eas of engineering and urbanism. Institute ofUrban Development Uzbek ofUzbekstan Tashkent, Republic the Russian) (translated from NOTES
in translating the Russian note: Because of the difficulties [Editors' textand in contactinga distantauthor,the editorshave taken it to modify They apolportionsof the translation. upon themselves fromthe author'smeaningthatmayhave ogize foranydeviations resulted.] 1. Recent publications furnishevidence of this: little-known medievalsketches, of Ottoman architects are predominantly see Guilru supplementedby models in construction; Necipo"Plans and Models in 15th-and 16th-Century glu-Kafadar, OttomanArchitectural Practice," Society ofthe ofArchiJournal Historians 45 (September1986): 224-43. For the welltectural knownalbum of drawings byVillardde Honnecourtand written sources relatingto French Gothic architecture, see K.M. Muratov, "Mastera frantsuzskoigotiki XII-XIII vekov," 1988. Iskusstvo, 2. Of the archivalmaterialrelatingto muqarnas,L.I. Rempel's "Ganch v arkhitekture narodnogo zhilishchai ego znachenie dlia sovremennogostroitel'nogo dela (iz opytabukharskikh narodnikh Muzeiiskusstv UZSSSR,p. 193,shouldbe masterov," mentioned.In it severaltermsused by traditional architects are translated and a simplified classification of those relating to thecomposition ofthestars is given.In thesame archive are severalsketches, of construction, of stalactites simplein terms fromthe workof the Samarqand masterKuli Jalilov (book sketches 12589) and a scrollof twelve byUsto ShirinMuradov (collection 21, no. 4174), executed in freehandwithoutany delineationof the rows.The first analytic publicationof them was my Bukharskaia rez'bapo ganchu v rabotakh UstoShirina Muradova(Tashkent, 1961). 3. See L.C. Bretanitskii and B.A. Rozenfel'd,"Kliucharifmetiki" of Ghiyath al-Din al-Kashi, in Iskusstvo 5 (Baku, Azerbaidzhana 1956). 4. The manuscript collectionof the Institute of OrientalStudies of the Academyof Sciences of the Uzbek SovietSocialistReAN UzSSR), inv.no. 6 (IV). The sketches are public (hereafter arrangedin filenos. 1,2, 4, 5, 6. Accordingto a supplementary sheet in one of the files,theywere earlierin the StatePublic (GPB) of the Uzbek SSR; Professor Library I.B. Baklanovorganized themand returned themto theGBP on August21,1940. 5. From thispublicationwe knowthatthe restoration of the sixsketches wasbegun byProfessor A.A. Semenov, teenth-century the curatorof the Departmentof Manuscripts of the GPB of the Uzbek SSR. See I.B. Baklanov,"Arkhitekturnye chertezhi

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

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DECODING

SIXTEENTH-CENTURY

MUQARNAS

DRAWINGS

155

14. 15. 16.

17.

18.

19. 20.

to Iran. See Arthur Art, ofPersian Upham Pope, Survey torially en Perse(Paris, 4 vols. (London, 1938-39); P. Coste, Voyages Baudenkmaler (Berlin,1918); 1844-54); E. Diez, Churasanische 2d ed., Suppleand E. Diez, "Muqarnas,"Encyclopaedia ofl Islam, ment (Leiden: E.J.Brill,1987). XIV v. iz ansambliaShakhi-Zinda," See I.I. Notkin,"Stalaktity Zodchestvo 2 (1970). Uzbekistana foundin thelitthattheetymology This development suggests derivesfromIraq is questionable eraturethatthe termCiraqi u emira [1887]). (see V.V.Krestovskii, Vgostiakh Bukharskogo Explanationsand diagramsof theseprocessesbyarthistorian A.N. Vinogradovare preservedin I.F. Borodina and architect of Monuments the archiveof the Bureau forthe Preservation of Historyand Culture, Republic of Uzbekistan,inv. no. TIOZO B 83. See V.M. Filiminov,"Nekotorye zakonomernosti razvitiia Ph.D. diss., Tashkent,1970; M.S. metologiiv arkhitekture," Azii v arkhitekture Srednei Bulatov, garmonizatsiia Geometricheskaia IX-XVvv.(Moscow: Nauka, 1978); and P.Sh. Zakhidov,Osnovy v arkhitekture (Fan, 1982). garmonii kanona ornamentSredneiAzii," See G.A. Gaganov,"Geometricheskii "Svitokiz nasledstvo Arkhitekturnoe 2 (1958); S. Chmel'nikskii, SSSR 1 (1959); and L.I. Remiskusstvo Bukhara" Dekorativnoe i teoornament pel', Arkhitekturnyi Uzbekistana, Istoria,razvitiia AN UzSSR, 1961). (Tashkent: ria postroeniia These are discussed in Notkin,"Bukharskaiarez'ba po ganchu," p. 87. The Tashkent scholar Bakhtiar Babadzhanov said of this was literate, thatits stylesuggeststhat the writer inscription in it- forexample, the use of and thatcertainpeculiarities and the complex preposition,often found in manuscripts - sugand seventeenth century juridical acts of the sixteenth

21.

22.

23.

24.

date,ifone can drawanyconclusions gesta sixteenth-century in a kindof nastaliq from such a smalldetail;the textis written thatsupportssuch a dating. [Editors'note: Because of ambihas guityin the originalRussian,the textof thisinscription Wheeler M. been retranscribed and retranslated byProfessor ofHarvardUniversity, to whomthe editorsowe Thackston,Jr., thanks.] and earlier, when the construction For the sixteenth century of some types of building was discussed in the historical werealways to master builders(banndyan), sources,references architects(micmdrdn), and master engineers (muhandisdn) and who knewabout construction. who weremainly designers shdhifascimile, transSee Hafiz-i TanishBukhari,Sharaf-ndmd notes, and indices by M.A. Salakhetdilation, introduction, offol.103b. nova (Moscow,1983), n. 228, and reproduction The wordydrdn (friends)is apparently accepted as a formof and ofcraftsmen and muhandises, addressin the corporations in the Sufitradition. This is not surprising, seems to originate given that practicallyall artisan corporationsat that time in thiscase probably the Naqbelonged to Sufibrotherhoods, shabandi brotherhood (see A.M. Boldyrev,"Eshche raz k in Dukhovenstvo i politicheskaia voprosu o Khodzha-Akhrare," i Srednem Vostoke vperiodefeodalizma [Moscow: zhizn'na Blizhnem Nauka, 1985], pp. 50-51, 61,and n. 21). in archiFor detailson themeaningofno. 4 and itssymbolism see Nader Ardalan tecturalformsand planning resolutions, in PerTheSenseofUnity: TheSufiTradition and Leila Bakhtiar, of Chicago Press,1972). sianArchitecture (Chicago: University "K voprosuo remeslennom See M. Yu.Yuldashev, proizvodstve v XVI-XVII vv.,"Obshchestvennye nauki v Bukharskom Khanstve 4 (1961). Uzbekistana

.:;:::?
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of the sixteenth niche vault(drawings 1, 2) bya Bukharanmasterarchitect century. Fig. 3. Plans of halfan Ciraqi

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156

I. I. NOTKIN

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c ~arr-

~sl

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niche vaultfora square chamber (drawings 3, 4). Fig. 4. Plan forquarterof an Ciraqi

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.s ;; :X?~LL L..RI ;~P~Zb7lli?~aEilR~1L~9Yii?~rCRL?sC I ?* I?r ?I' ~? X~: r. ~ ,.~.~;;*~?l?~i~:::"~?L, ~'.? .. ~~T ?? ??'':'~

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fromCiraqi and fragments 5, 6). Fig.5. Mosaic compositions (drawings gir/hs

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DECODING SIXTEENTH-CENTURY MUQARNAS DRAWINGS


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157

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r?2~?-1.?:.i 'ii4i:i ~.i?~Gl~.~i~~;~j~-~PC;iiE~?~S~W~CZ~aC~i~ .?i? ~I?!~*I:?; ~'~?C~:~C~'?~???r??L~*~~ll~aP: .. ??? ???? :: iijiii. .i: i?tCli~la~iii iia~i.?? ??: 9(i!6 'i: :??..i.i'ji --?I*.i:??:;:? ?' ?? i. *.r ?,~?? " *P f ?I ?:? i 'I?i flai;:f'i .?:?::: ?s??.: ?~:??:::: :??: ?.?::?:::::: ??i;~ 1 .:dq? .?:i? ?..:~%?r,?~L~i~~CEiE~C.jBiiiiii:?lii~~

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vaultfora square base (drawings 7, 8, 9). Fig. 6. Plans ofan Ciraqi :1


. ?". "::?'ii~i~itiiiiiii

, iiiii :
?:

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.'

..:

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fora rectangular chamber (drawings 10,11). Fig. 7. Plans ofan Ciraqivault

1o2.

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d* '-

4?LL

.......

'

.~

'u*YM"-~E

and girih kites(drawing12). Fig. 8. Outlinesof Ciraqi

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158

I. I. NOTKIN

..

"!

13

face
I 13 5 a

.:

.-

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-b

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,

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sketches and theirdecoding (drawing cornices;sixteenth-century 13). Fig. 9. Four-and two-row

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vaultof the muqarnastype(drawing stalactite Fig. 10. Sketchof a sixteenth-century plan and itsdecoding (below). A quarterof a four-row solid and dottedlines; Z is the zenithof thevault. below,the rowsare delineatedbythick, 14). Here and further alternately

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DECODING SIXTEENTH-CENTURY MUQARNAS DRAWINGS

159

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Fig. 12. One quarterofa six-row muqarnasvault(drawing16).

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160

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Fig. 13. One quarterofa five-row muqarnasvault (drawing17).

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18). Fig. 14. One quarterof a four-row muqarnasvault (drawing

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DECODING

SIXTEENTH-CENTURY

MUQARNAS

DRAWINGS

161

.....,,:;;iEi~,?........... ........ ....??.?.? ?????????? ????????? ???????? . ?????:??????------??????????--?-????? """"---'*-""------"""'-' """"""""""""""""""""

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arches (drawing sketch and a 19). Alongsideare a moreelaborateworking Fig. 15.One quarterofa five-row muqarnasvaulton intersecting thevariousphases of the preparation of the stalactites. illustrating paper and cardboardmodel of a half-dome,

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162

, ........ ?-??.......
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I. I. NOTKIN

;i

i''

.
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arches (drawing 20). Fig. 16. A quarterof a four-row muqarnasvaulton intersecting

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1 has six rows, variant Fig. 17.A quarterofa muqarnasvault:variant 2 has seven (drawing 21).

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DECODING

SIXTEENTH-CENTURY

MUQARNAS

DRAWINGS

163

:JI?
)? .; ~?...~.~ ?:::S1E~ ;:( ??.?i ?Ia :ii i;;L; ?d.: JI:i5 :(*X:ei rj. *! ?:~

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ti I 1 2 2 I 3 4

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Fig. 18. A quarter of a four-rowmuqarnas vault (drawing 22).

*L~i

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Fig. 19. A quarter of a five-rowmuqarnas vault (drawing 23).

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164
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variant1 has fiverows, Fig. 21. Half of a muqarnasniche vaulting: 2 four, variant and variant 3 has six (drawing25).

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DECODING

SIXTEENTH-CENTURY

MUQARNAS

DRAWINGS

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166
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DECODING SIXTEENTH-CENTURY MUQARNAS DRAWINGS

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of muqarnaskites:(a) a half-square, 30). (b) a half-triangle (drawing Fig. 26. Fragments

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Fig. 27. A quarterofa ten-row muqarnas (drawing31).

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168
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have Fig. 28. A quarterof a seventeen-row muqarnas(some variants eightfullrows) (drawing32).

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of themfullrows(drawing33). Fig. 29. Half a muqarnasniche vault- eighteenrowsin all, twelve

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DECODING

SIXTEENTH-CENTURY

MUQARNAS

DRAWINGS

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roofwitha centralcolumn.Five-row Fig. 30. Plan of a four-dome muqarnasvaults(drawing34).

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121

Fig. 31. A quarter of a muqarnas vault: twenty-onerows in all, and fifteenof them full Iows (drawing 35).

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170 a
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tier:eighteen Fig. 32. A quarterof a muqarnason an eight-arched rowsin all, and sixteenof themfullrows(drawing36a). A kitedependenton thisvault,fiverows(drawing36b).

in masses (drawings14-18, Fig. 33. Decoded plans of stalactites 21-24, 26-29, 31-32,35).

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DECODING

SIXTEENTH-CENTURY

MUQARNAS 33

DRAWINGS

171
34

19 ---

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20

30

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f ~~~~~i....... a vaulton intersectFig. 34. Massingofdecoded plans ofstalactites: ing arches (drawings19-20); a niche and in the plan twosquares 25); a nicheand in theplan morethantwosquares (draw(drawing ing 33); a vaulton columns (drawing34); a vaulton eightarches 30 and 36b). (drawing36a); a kite(drawings

"... 36b

_d

SI3a,

13b I4, IS
17,

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19 20

1S
25,

II
25
25,
30a 30b 36b

24,26, 23, 27 29
28,

21, 212, 22

32a 31,

32b

35

34

33

table indicating of stalactites (a, b, c, d), scale of sketch(A, B, C) and levelsof complexity (I, II, IV,V). Type a Fig. 35. A summary types indicatesa cornice.Typeb indicatesa vault(1) on a sqaure base, (2) on intersecting arches,(3) on a centralcolumn, (4) on eightarches. Type c indicatesa niche: in plan (1) thereare twosquares; in (2) more thantwosquares.Typed indicatesa kite:in the plan thereis (1) a A indicates a large-scale B mediumscale, C,small-scale, sketch; (3) a walltriangle. I, II, III, IV,V indicatelevels square, (2) a cornertriangle, of complexity fromthe lowest(I) to highest(V).

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