Turkey, “Iznik”, c. 1565-75
Stonepaste, underglaze painting over a slip coating
W. 178.5 cm; L. 76.5 cm; Th. 4 cm
Musée du Louvre, acquired 1895, former A. Sorlin-Dorigny Collection
Ucad 5972 a et b

The decoration of these two panels made up of twenty-one tiles is extraordinarily light and elegant. It shows full mastery of the palette of hues, typical of the 1570s, which plays on the contrast between emerald green, tomato red, and a medium ultramarine blue. Emerging from a tuft of serrated saz leaves, two fine rose stems curve their way up the panel, fixed at the point where they come together by clasps of cloud, and forming flattened mandorlas through their parallel movement. Without grafting themselves onto this upward movement but by keeping pace with its rhythm, large tulips come apart and together at regular intervals, surrounded by stems of single flowers with a red center and blue petals. Small bands of stylized clouds or fine rumi compositions are lodged here and there in the remaining space. Both panels are quite identical in design with the exception of the motif that fills in the spandrel of the arch.