Polychrome ceramics, artistic diagnosis and resulting ambiences in a Marinid Mosque, Algeria

Meriem Benkhedda, Kheira Tabet Aoul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The study and research described in this paper aims to reveal the unexplored aesthetical role of colors used for the ceramics in a mosque from the Marinid dynasty in Tlemcen, Algeria. The methodological approach consists irstly, of a formal analysis of the mosque's artwork by describing its elements and composition and related principles. Secondly, the patterns and geometries are analyzed in-depth using artistic color concepts and laws of color contrast. The analysis demonstrates that the contrasts between bright, pure and dynamic colors provide luminosity, dynamism, rhythm, brightness and an optical mix. The color contrasts are also found to provide visual illusions of mass, volume or movement, as well as depth and relief that ultimately result in inluencing the overall ambience of the mosque. The study thus enables the chromatic authenticity of this architectural heritage to be preserved by providing the necessary data for potential conservation, as well as providing a basis for innovative principles in expressing contemporary architecture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-44
Number of pages18
JournalConservation Science in Cultural Heritage
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Ambience
  • Ceramic
  • Color
  • Marinid heritage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Museology


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