Fragmentary Ottoman Cenotaph Cover with Qur'anic Verses

Walters Art Museum

About the work

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Created in Turkey, this cenotaph cover dates back to the 17th-18th century. It is adorned with Qur'anic verses and Islam’s Shahada, "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet," placed within a chevron (zig-zag) pattern and set against an oxblood background.Attributed to the Ottoman Empire, it was likely ​​used to dress a sanduka (a coffin-shaped stone) in honor of an important person. The work resembles many cenotaph covers from this period, which were frequently designed with chevron patterns and holy scripture. Geometric patterns as well religious inscriptions are meant to guide viewers in their worship.

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