Thursday, March 20, 2014

Leadlight Beauty

One of the members of our trivia team, Lazarus, is Kerrie. She and husband Bob run a leadlight business out of premises at Summer Hill, New South Wales. During last night’s triv I mentioned that I had come across an article about amazing effects from leadlights and I said that I would reprint that article. Here it is. . . 

From The Huff Post, 19.03.2014, at:

Nasir al-Mulk 'Pink Mosque' Of Iran Is Like Stepping Into A Kaleidoscope

The Huffington Post | by Yasmine Hafiz

From the outside, the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, seems like a fairly traditional house of worship -- but it's hiding a gorgeously colorful secret.

The multitude of stained glass windows turn the inside of the mosque into a riotous wonderland of color that is absolutely breathtaking.

Japanese photographer Koach was blown away by the mosque's beauty which is best appreciated in the morning light, explaining:

You can only see the light through the stained glass in the early morning. It was built to catch the morning sun, so that if you visit at noon it will be too late to catch the light. The sight of the morning sunlight shining through the colorful stained glass, then falling over the tightly woven Persian carpet, is so bewitching that it seems to be from another world.
Even if you are the world’s least religious person, you might feel your hands coming together in prayer naturally when you see the brilliance of this light. Perhaps the builders of this mosque wanted to show their “faith” through the morning light shining through this stained glass.

Not to mention the gorgeously painted, intricate arches and niches.

It's also known as the "Pink Mosque" for the rose-colored tiles that cover the interior. However, picking out just one color doesn't do justice to the plethora of hues that decorate it.

Though Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and Istanbul's Blue Mosque both feature stained glass windows, on the whole they are fairly uncommon in mosque architecture.

The rarity of architecture like this makes Nasir al-Mulk all the more precious.

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Some bonus items:

Traditionally leadlights were the result of coloured glass being placed into position with lead, known as lead came, whereas stained glass was the ornate leadlighted glass with painted images as often seen in church windows.  Today the distinction has become blurred and the terms are often used interchangeabnly.

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The Pink Mosque was built 1876-1888.  

Restoration, protection and maintenance, observing all international standards on historical places, has begun and is continuing.

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According to one cmmentator to the above article:

"In Islamic art the repeated geometric tessellations are a metaphor for the infinity of Allah. The mathematics of geometry mirror the perfection of Allah."

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Banksy's street art stained glass window mural displayed at a 2011 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles:

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  1. What an inspiring collection of images. Thanks for making my day more beautiful!

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