A Prayer in the Mosque Tunisa by Frederico Bartolini

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A Prayer in the Mosque Tunisa by Frederico Bartolini

A prayer in the Mosque Tunisa by Frederico visually represents the prayer hall of a mosque in Tunisia. The inside of the mosque is built in the traditional Muslim architecture style which is more or less influenced by the Ottoman architecture style, especially in Tunisia. From the high ceiling to the thin pillars and covered with wooden carvings walls to the Islamic styled carpets on the floor everything has a totally afresh appearance which anyone could recognize as a piece from Muslim culture. People apparent in the current oil on canvas, are naturally the locals who have arrived for prayer, some are reading their cultural books, maybe the “Koran” while rest of the crowd is busy with their long silent prayer called “Namaj”. The attention-grabber person in red attire leaving the premise has calmness on his face. In one hand he is holding his shoes. According to the accepted customs of Islam, one can’t walk into a mosque wearing any type of footwear. Same custom could be found in the Hindu culture where, one is prohibited wearing shoes in any Hindu temple.

Country of Tunisia has the majority of its public (99%) being Sunni Muslims and obviously has the influence of its official religion all over the country. Islam is the official religion of the country (although, the country doesn’t disapprove other religions in its constitute).  And all of its schools and colleges are decreed by the government to teach about the religion. In short, it is an Islamic country with the old customs still strictly active in its religious circumstances just like most Muslim countries.

The painting is a shadow of the everyday activity in such country. People come to mosque, pray towards god (no image, photo or statue of god as Paganism is prohibited in Islam, instead a mosque could possess a tomb of any highly revered or considered holy person among the peers against which Muslims will bent down for blessings) and leave the circumstances with high hope and satisfaction of remembering god once in a while. Praying is mostly similar in most cultures, just the way are different. Some will bring their palms together to pray, some will do Namaj and then some will walk down in the house of god to remember God and would do confessions if required; or one would just dance around a fire gathering with peers and sing a song with lyrics which would be more like noises than words, if one is from some African jungles.

At the end, it’s all about faith in an invisible entity, mostly never seen, felt or heard from and still believing in it with such force which is almost impossible to remove from one’s mind. That faith in the unknown called as God, is why Mosques, Temples, churches or fire-gatherings are made for. It is a place of reinforcing the faith as well as giving homage to the divine entity.

Religions are different roads leading to the same destination. The painting just represents one of those ways with respect and honor.



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