Published at Monday, 12 August 2019. Decoration. By Marie Williams.
"Courtyards and upper pillared porticoes are principal features of the best Nadjdi architecture, in addition to the fine incised plaster wood (jiss) and painted window shutters, which decorate the reception rooms. Good examples of plasterwork can often be seen in the gaping ruins of torn-down buildings- the effect is light, delicate and airy. It is usually around the majlis, around the coffee hearth and along the walls above where guests sat on rugs, against cushions. Doughty wondered if this "parquetting of jis", this "gypsum fretwork... all adorning and unenclosed" originated from India. However, the Najd fretwork seems very different from that seen in the Eastern Province and Oman, which are linked to Indian traditions, and rather resembles the motifs and patterns found in ancient Mesopotamia. The rosette, the star, the triangle and the stepped pinnacle pattern of dadoes are all ancient patterns, and can be found all over the Middle East of antiquity. Al-Qassim Province seems to be the home of this art, and there it is normally worked in hard white plaster (though what you see is usually begrimed by the smoke of the coffee hearth). In Riyadh, examples can be seen in unadorned clay.
In some cases, licensed professionals review the work and sign it before submitting the design for approval by clients or construction permisioning. The need for licensed review and signature varies by locality, relevant legislation, and scope of work. Their work can involve significant travel to visit different locations. However, with technology development, the process of contacting clients and communicating design alternatives has become easier and requires less travel. They also renovate a space to satisfy the specific taste for a client.
“Majlis painting”, also called nagash painting, is the decoration of the majlis, or front parlor of traditional Arabic homes, in the Asir province of Saudi Arabia and adjoining parts of Yemen. These wall paintings, an arabesque form of mural or fresco, show various geometric designs in bright colors: “Called nagash in Arabic, the wall paintings were a mark of pride for a woman in her house.”
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