Click on the image to zoom
By the sixteenth century, mosques and palaces built under the Ottomans (1299–1923) had predominantly plain ashlar exteriors with a profusion of colours and patterns on the interior in the form of glazed tiles, carpets and textiles, painted ceilings, and monumental inscriptions. These tiles are part of a repeat-pattern composition, an example of which adorns the walls of the sixteenth-century Rüstem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul. Typical of tiles with repeat patterns, the underglaze-painted design would have been applied to the tile through the use of a stencil. The design itself is highly complex. It is an exquisite example of a floral spray around a central motif demonstrating the folding, rotation, and repetition of patterns that characterize Islamic art. The colours are also representative of the Ottoman taste with combinations of turquoise, cobalt-blue, white, and red.