The Muslim peoples brought tile to its greatest splendor as a decorative medium. In the countries that came under their influence the tradition of a brilliant ceramic art is still active. Muslim architecture is distinguished by the lavish tile incrustations upon the exterior surfaces of walls, domes, and minarets, as well as in rooms, mosques, and patios. The Persians remained masters of tile decoration. Unsurpassed masterpieces of tile design were produced in Persia from the 12th to the 16th cent. Examples are the 15th-century Blue Mosque at Tabriz and numerous structures at Esfahan and Shiraz.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.