43. Fresh Bread, Samarkand, Uzbekistan


The national clothes of Uzbek women are very bright, beautiful and look comfortable. Uzbek clothes are a part of rich cultural traditions and life style. The headdress looks like a colourful head scarf or turban.  The embroidery pattern may reveal the owner’s social status from the patterns. Sogdian patterns have preserved the traces of Zoroastrian influence. The colours in this region are especially symbolic with the    blues and violets in a woman’s dress indicating her husband’s higher social status, while greenish motifs more frequently used by peasants and craftsmen.

The footwear consists of mahsi, comfortable heel-less step-in boots with a soft sole or high boots made of rough leather or rubber.

I have indicated these elements in the painting against the backdrop of the fabulous   Bibi Khanym mosque which though almost completely reconstructed in 1970s still carries a fairy tale like quality with the turquoise blue dome and marble walls.

The Bibi-Khanym Mosque built in 1404 was financed from the pillage and spoils of Timur during his invasion of India.  It was once one of the world’s biggest mosques but built in such a hurry that the dome started crumbling even before construction had finished.

Timur ( also known as  Tamerlane  or  Timur the Lame ), was a Turco-Mongol conqueror who founded the Timurid Empire in and around modern-day Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia, becoming the first ruler of the Timurid dynasty. Timur was the last of the nomadic conquerors of the Eurasian Steppe who saw himself as Genghis Khan’s heir though not a descendant. Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire in India was descended from Timur.

Looking at the architecture and materials of mosques and mausoleums in Uzbekistan, I could identify the inspiration for the Taj Mahal built between 1632-53  by Babur’s great- great grandson,  another Mughal, Shah Jahan


Original:  Oil on canvas ; 12 x 16″  (305 x 410mm) ; framed

Limited Edition Print : Available as Giclee print on finest quality paper or  canvas. International shipment

Sizes available: 8 x 12″(203 x 305 mm); 12 x 16″(305 x 410mm); 18 x 24″(457 x 610 mm); 24 x 32″ (610 x 813mm)

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Will post rolled up  in  a tube with Certificate of Authenticity, number of the print and artist’s signature.