The work "Gur Emir Mausoleum Samarkand" was donated to UNESCO by Uzbekistan in 1996. The artist, Alisher Alikulov, follows the tradition of Uzbekistan history painters, who are inspired by national history as well as the material and spiritual traditions of Uzbekistan. The realism, fine detail and clarity of his painting technique reinforce the expressive, dramatic and even theatrical character of the work.
Alikulov often includes architectural elements in his compositions, particularly some of his country’s historical monuments. In the case of this painting, Alikulov has focused his interest on the Gur Emir Mausoleum in Samarkand, the Timurid family vault. This is more specifically the 'tomb of the sovereign' ("Gur Emir") Tamerlane, Emir of Transoxiana. Born in 1336, he was a fearsome warlord who created an immense empire; he passed away in 1405 and was buried in this mausoleum built on his grandson’s order, Mohammed Sultan, who died in 1403.
The use of harmonious colors, the central position of the architecture on the canvas, the precision of the external blue-glazed mosaic tiles which decorate the facade as well as the glazed bricks on the ribbed dome, all contribute to giving a historical, heroic and majestic character to the monument.
Biography of the artist
Alisher Alikulov was born in 1966 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
He first developed his artistic skills at the Republican School of Art in his hometown (1983-1987), under V. Petrov and Mr. Umarov. He then joined the K. Bekhzod National Institute of Art and Design in order to pursue his art studies under G.Kadirov and R. Khudaybergenov. As his diploma work, in 1995, Alikulov presented a mural painted inside the Institute, entitled "Collapse of the Great Empire."
As of 1995, Alikulov began creating monumental mural paintings for various institutions (ministries, museums, banks, etc.) in Uzbekistan, which significantly contributed to his important artistic reputation. These include, among others, two monumental frescoes, "Garden of Paradise" and "Royal Hunt", at the "Alpomish" Sports Palace Hall (1995) in Tashkent, then "The Great People of Uzbekistan" found in the lobby of the administration building of the City Hall of Tashkent (1999), or the fresco "Popular Uprising" at the Museum of the People’s History of Uzbekistan (2000), as well as the one at the State History Museum entitled "Amir Temur in World History" (2002).
In 1996, Alikulov participated in the exhibition dedicated to the 660th anniversary of Amir Temur held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The following year, he was elected member of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. In 2000 he held his first solo exhibition at the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Washington D.C., (U.S.A.). The same year, he was elected member of the International Association of Writers and Artists in Ohio (U.S.A.). In 2001, he received the Gold Medal of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, and in 2003 received the title "Honored Art Worker."
Alisher Alikulov works can be found in public and private collections in Uzbekistan, and in the U.S.A., but also in Europe, Asia and Africa.