Luminescent Lotuses: Mimesis in Miḥrābs and Micro-architecture at Maklī

In: Philological Encounters
Fatima Quraishi Department of the History of Art, University of California Riverside, California USA

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This article focuses on the lotus motif employed as an architectural decoration in the monuments of the Maklī necropolis from the late fourteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries. Through a close analysis of the form and its particular use in micro-architecture, a use connected with allusions to light and divine radiance, I explore the formation of a distinctly local aesthetic idiom in Sindh. This article demonstrates that builders and artisans at Maklī engaged in a practice of architectural citation that involved the serial replication of specific forms and their meanings. In so doing, it argues that history was and is seen as cumulative at the Maklī necropolis.

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