Monday, April 21, 2008


This is another view of the central square at Ibn Tolon that I first mentioned in my March 10 blog. I became fascinated by the smaller building in the center of the square and couldn't help exploring it from many angles. There was no way to get up to the top of the dome but I did climb onto the roof of the outer corridors and also up to the top of the tower seen on the left in my painting. This is where the Mullah calls the faithful to prayer and by the way, also gives a wonderful view of surrounding Cairo. I did this painting in oil, again mainly as a study to see what I could make of it in paint. My other smaller studies of Ibn Tolon were also in oil and I am in the process of creating a large painting that shows a view down one of the corridors. Other obligations have prevented me from finishing it at present but I hope to get back to the painting soon. You will note that in the center building above, you can see right through two of the higher windows on the second story. It was amazing how many of the arches and windows lined up from different angles and was obviously designed that way. I was careful to include these details in the series of paintings I have done and to this end, did a number of careful sketches first. Since there were quite a few details in and around all the arches, I kept the sky simple with just a hint of high clouds. The floor is actually paved but looks like desert sand. Even in mid day, there was a strong spiritual feeling about the place, something very holy and wonderful. Obviously a place well loved by the residents too as there were a few groups of students walking around, some of them taking an art class and sketching different views as I was. This small canvas is 9" X 12".

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