Khiva Ichan-Qala is the oldest part of the old city surrounded by mud brick walls and contrasting these earth tones are the abundance of dazzling flashes of blue, green and turquoise (turquoise means 'colour of the Turks') tiling for which Khiva is famous. The Tosh-Hauli Palace Complex is a stunning example, its collection of premises; offices, reception halls, the harem, living areas, courtyards is lavishly decorated with the intricate blue and turquoise floral motifs majolica designs which weave across in a seemingly endless array that soothe the eye throughout the year even the hottest of summer days. The facade of the palace and the surface of the walls surrounding inner courtyards are trimmed with ornamental majolica, with blue and ultramarine colours being dominant. Many of Khiva’s tiles have been designed to resemble hanging carpets, especially in the harem. These usually have an inner field pattern and a thick, ornamental border, much like a carpet.
Tiles were never used as mosaics in Khiva, instead majolica tiles were nailed into the walls through a small hole in the centre of each one. The designs would then continue faultlessly across the expanse of asymmetric tiles in mesmerising detail. The Khan was particularly fond of the tiles' cooling colours and decided to have all his 'aywans' entirely decorated with them. To cover such large areas, the tiles were not all produced or fired in the same kiln. Arabic numbers were painted onto each tile so that they could later be assembled like a large jigsaw puzzle onto the 'aywan' walls.
The ancient masters knew the secret of making coloured ceramic glaze made from desert plant called 'ishkor' the dyes of which keep their original deep blue colors for centuries. The procedure was a closely guarded secret and by the 1960's there was only one aging ceramist who remembered the traditional method. Thrilled that the Soviets had decided to begin restoration of the Ichan Kala, he offered to divulge the mystery of the deep blue colouring to the Russian archaeologists. Unfortunately they showed no interest in his old-fashioned ways, preferring instead to use modern, chemical pigments. The secret was lost and the walls of the Tosh Hauli have been scarred with the result. Tiles added in restoration are easy to distinguish as they fail to achieve the deep blue of the originals and look as though they have been applied with a marker pen.
This is a picture of Tosh-Hauli Palace, 'aywan' of the public audience. An 'aywan' or outdoor living spaces, has three walls and a high ceiling with the open side facing north to catch and circulate cooling northern breezes. Often one or two ornately carved pillars prop up the open side of a large 'aywan' Traditional Khivan houses have simple, unadorned 'aywans' where the family lives in summer.
Workshop1: Tile close up view. Tosh-Hauli Palace 'aywan' of the public audience. If you look closely you may see an Arab numeral on a tile. This was so the tiles could be laid out in the right order.
Workshop2: Tile close up view. Tosh-Hauli Palace 'aywan' of the Summer mosque. Showing complex interface, the tiles again had numbers painted in the white stalks to make assembly easier
Critiques | Translate
JudyR (1671) 2012-07-16 8:35
Beautifully captured with the perfect light conditions and the person and doorway to give perspective. Stunning subject. Thanks, Judy
danos (87451) 2012-07-16 8:50
from Uzbekistan is coming my daughter-in-law so i'll visit the country one day to see all these tresures they have.
Excellent the view as the presentation of this hanging carpet with the details of the closer view to are captured excellent.
I like the clarity of the image with the man to adds scale in it.
SnapRJW (31427) 2012-07-16 10:08
Hello Abmdsudi - A wonderful little series of these beautiful hand-crafted tiles. The designs are so intricate and lovely and I love the rich blue colours. Your note is very informative too, I had no idea that the tiles were put onto the walls in the manner you describe. The WS shots show the little holes! Super shot in the spirit of TE. TFS and for the great note. Warm regards Rosemary
saxo042 (37578) 2012-07-16 10:21
Very attractive patterns of these carpets and also very attractive colours! The addition of the man adds perspective and life to the picture.
rychem (23946) 2012-07-16 10:25
It must be a fantastic mosaic, beautiful patterns and rich blue tones, clear and neat photo
JFS (32459) 2012-07-16 10:26
Incredible walls!!! you managed the light so well that it permits us to enjoy the details of this beauty. Thanks!
bema (26341) 2012-07-16 10:45
Hi dear Abmdsudi,
interesting architecture details of this wall, and a msterpiece of men´s work!
really good foto-job, i like a lot the colors and the great pov! the included person is an interesting detail and scale too..
thanks for sharing, see you soon, cheers Bernd
brianmcc (6181) 2012-07-16 11:00
what wonderful colours on this wall. the blues are fantastic and contrast well with the natural colours in the stone. great composition to include the window and door. excellent detail and sharpness.
mesutilgim (85358) 2012-07-16 11:25
Very nice interior capture with perfect pov and perfect layout.
A perfect TE entry enriched with many good and usefull notes.
TFS and best regards
Bluejeans (64249) 2012-07-16 11:34
Ola Abmdsudi ,
Lindo a padrão destes azulejos em tons de azul , é uma bela entrada deste palácio bem decorada , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
baclama (18111) 2012-07-16 11:44
des mosaiques superbes....j'aurai tout de meme soit completement enlvé le personnage soit attendu un peu plus qu'il soit bien dans le cadre
Gigidusud (16289) 2012-07-16 13:50
Great capture of this carpet,impressive men's work.Beautiful colors and nice details.
Thanks for sharing.
Fis2 (86247) 2012-07-16 14:07
Wow, fantastic interior.
Good frame and colors.
Very impressive mosaic.
marabu61 (8583) 2012-07-16 14:26
Gorgous wall with the forlorn figure in the corner giving it a real sense of scale.
These carpets are so exquisitely woven, my respect to the weavers.
siamesa (27743) 2012-07-16 14:45
Boa noite Abmdsudi
This artistic work is superb. A masterpiece. Excellent capture. The blue color is perfect.
Budapestman (82620) 2012-07-16 16:03
a splendid photo of this amazing spectacle, the composition is very nice, the colours and details are beautiful. Tfs! Have a nice week! Kellemes hetet kívánok!
daddo (24404) 2012-07-16 18:12
Salam Abmdsudi. Heavenly colours and designs. These are my favourite colours to begin with, even though i haven't blue eyes. i was reading your note with great interest, deciding to write to you about a documentary that I had seen (and have somewhere on tape)about an older man who was teaching the art of making tiles to his sons. He was most concerned about the disinterest of the Soviets about the crumbling state of some of the structures and he was also awed by the colossal amount of restorative work that awaited him. I wonder if it is the same man, as this one was presented as the master who still knew the ways of old. What had made me happy was the implied promise that the knowledge would be passed on to his sons.Reading your note it sounds as if we are talking about two different people or certain secrets were never handed down. it's like anything, once lost- forever gone. If the events had happened in Japan,it would have not come to this sad ending (they worship their living treasures), but then Japan had not been under the Soviet boot. Your photo is a delight. Salam. Klaudio.
eldancer1 (28513) 2012-07-16 18:54
Wow! Very intricate of that carpet, I wonder how long it took them to make. Beautiful design and colors. Nicely captured with good lighting and dof with sharp details. Well done, tfs.
delpeoples (53167) 2012-07-16 23:46
Hello dear Abmdsudi
Simply magnificent! I have a passion for majolica tiles and ceramics. And these ones are exquisite. Your photo demonstrates their beauty and artistry superbly. What stunning colours, as I remarked in your previous photo, the blue tones are just magical. How dare that naughty person walk across your frame! But at least he gives us a sense of scale. An intriguing photo that tempts the viewer to travel to this wonderful town.
dkmurphys (50006) 2012-07-17 3:23
What an impressive room. Splendid artwork in great colors. Nice catch, have a good day.
ACL1978 (7469) 2012-07-17 6:47
This shot is really a feast for the eyes, Abmdsudi. Muslim tilework is gorgeous in its color and geometric style, and this is a great example of both, with the bright blue dyes and jagged lines. The rest of the shot shouldn't be ignored either - including the door, window, and brickwork at left, not to mention the figure in lower left, all help place these designs in context. Great shot!
ourania (32031) 2012-07-17 6:49
the elaborate patterns, the wonderful colours and overall effect of these compositions are mesmerizing. We can only marvel at the inspiration, patience and skill of the artists that created them. Your picture is very well composed and framed, very sharp and well lit so that we may admire the two tiled walls and the magnificent blue ambiance in which they wrap the viewer. Well done and thank you!
All the best, have a great day,
sacimar (25975) 2012-07-17 6:51
this is an interesting image, I like the work of art of the walls, details are very good, and the presence of the man on the left is a good detail, well done,
maria-v1981 (10814) 2012-07-17 12:06
What an explosion of colours and textures. The patterns are amazing and you've achieved an excellent sharpness. The inclusion of the man gives a sense of scale to the scene too. Excellent shot.
ahmet54 (3073) 2012-07-17 12:09
seeing your photos of this fantastic tile decoration I decided to post one of my tosh hovli pictures too. The phoros in the workshop are also great.
bukitgolfb301 (36206) 2012-07-17 16:23
Hi dear Abmdsuid YTH, apa kabar?
Ya bagus lagi! Indah kesenian Islam, hidup!
so delicate and wonderful mozaic, specially Islamic art. Perfect framework and good composition, clear and sharp image as usual. Thanks for your good work and have a good day!
Takero from Tokyo, just finish the rainy season, Summer has come.
Cricri (107240) 2012-07-19 0:24
Grand travail d'artiste de ces tapis accroché au mur, intéressante note ainsi que les deux WS, une précision, d'une netteté incroyable, d'un bleu profond, excellent cadrage et présentation
Silvio1953 (123477) 2012-07-19 0:44
Ciao Abmdsudi, fantastic carpet on wall, fine details, excellent clarity, splendid light and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
shevchenko (19279) 2012-07-19 3:40
Good frame to show a selected part of the mosque, nice artistic wall that full with colourful and complicated patterns, it is an elaborate construction work and awesome artwork, nice WS photos to show more about it, distinct photos, well done.
CanmoreKevin (2111) 2012-07-19 6:17
I really enjoyed reading the note on this. I have never realized that tiles were used in this manner. Beautifully intricate.
clic (15134) 2012-07-23 17:05
It's a pity the secret was lost to keep eternally the vivid blue color on those "hard carpets" glued to walls.
They appear as giant masterworks that arouse interest to the point people must be in a state of admiration in front of those!
Angshu (55892) 2012-07-24 3:38
A big Wow as the picture opened up slowly from the thimbnail. Such details, such precision, such colours! I marvel just seeing your picture & wonder how you would have felt seeing it with your own eyes. The detailed pictures in the 2 WSs allow us to marvel more at the workmanship! Its simply astonishing. The man you added on the left adds to scale & vitality
leo61 (0) 2012-07-26 11:06
HI abmdsudi !
Wonderful blue tiles and this person walking into the scene works well for the composition.
Waylim (25360) 2012-10-25 18:21
That is a lot of work to get this done. Wow, impressive. They do look like carpet hung on the wall. The design is beautiful and I would love to have a carpet like it. I love the deep blue of the tiles. Must be really nice to be standing there seeing it up close. Good quality shot and so much details to appreciate here.
gus72 (3719) 2012-12-14 18:20
Hi abmdsudi !!
I noticed that you have visited a lot of Asian countries but every time that I look at your photos I choose Uzbekistan.... to me it is a very exotic country.... and I love tiles... you also see them in Mexico, Portugal, etc.
Your photo show some extraordinary work and is well captured by you, sharp details .... and blue that looks like blue.
Cheers from Australia.
mcmtanyel (14117) 2013-07-10 19:03
The more of these photos I see, the more I would like to go to Uzbekistan. You are right, the walls look like carpets are hanging on them. The workshop photos are very well done, too. I can see the nails in the centers of the tiles. Thanks for showing us this rarely seen part of the world.
kato (11630) 2014-01-10 0:52
You're capturing well this hanging carpet by a good angle and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the geometrical pattern which showed the view of the world peculiar to Islam and color which made blue the keynote. It is visible to the beautiful carpet rooted in an original feeling of religion.
Noel_Byrne (24846) 2014-06-02 4:12
The designs here are really beautiful, such a delicate tone of blue which is set of wonderfully by the little pockets of gold, giving a very regal feeling to your photo. This tile work is a real art form, and the result is amazing, as you shw here so well. Beautiful documentary scene of this man made wonder.
Thanks as always.
aliabazari (15837) 2014-11-17 18:28
Hi dear abmdsudi
This shot is very attractive from the Castle Tile. Beautiful composition. Focus and exposure so well done. Congratulations.
- Copyright: abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) (43714)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-12-15
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D70s, 18-70mm AF-S DX 3.5 - 4.5 Nikkor, ISO 200 RAW
- Exposure: f/3.5, 1/60 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2012-07-16 8:06