Art of Uzbekistan

Craftsmen handed down the secrets of crafts from generation to generation.

The objects of copper cisele, carpets of Bukhara and Khiva decorate the palaces of many European capitals, the apartments of the people. Suzanés are original wall tapestries covered with embroidery in silk thread that strikes your imagination. The doppi or qalpoq are Uzbek national headdresses. The Russians call them tubetaikas. The Chakhrisiabz doppides have a great reputation. These richly embroidered headdresses have won a gold medal at a Parisian exhibition.

The applied arts of Uzbekistan have been popular since antiquity. The works of the applied arts of Uzbekistan are differentiated by its forms, by the decoration.


Architecture, stucco, wood, stone, decorative architecture occupies a large place in the folk art of craftsmen of Uzbekistan. Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and other cities of Uzbekistan are world famous for their monuments of architecture. These ancient monuments retain the traces of the professional mastery of painters, architects, calligraphers, engravers, potters.

Wood carving

Book stands, chests, cabinets, buffets, baguiers, pencil cases, coffee tables, musical instruments are the objects of common use in carved wood.

The relief ornamental sculpture always used geometric and vegetable motifs.

The sculpture on wood is divided into three styles of woodcarving: bagdadi, islimi and pargori. Each group differs according to the ornamental motifs, the compositions and the technique of the sculpture. Walnut, plane tree, elm, juniper, mulberry, poplar, apricot, and imported wood: beech, oak, pine.We use trees such as walnut, plane tree, elm, juniper, mulberry, poplar, apricot, , Oak, pine for wood carving. The round table and polyhedra, stools, folding screens, night tables, frames, cabinets, wardrobe holders, buffets, baguers, pencil cases and other decorative objects are adorned with wood painting .


The painting

The national painting of Uzbekistan developed many centuries ago. The medieval painting of Samarkand is refined, majestic and solemn. The 14-15 centuries are the centuries of the revival of plastic art. The landscape paintings of the Samarkand mausoleums retain their originality. The portraits of the sovereign, his wives, his sons and his companions in arms, were formerly the palaces of Amir Timour. The works of Samarkand’s painting school are Close to that of Herat.

The illustrations in the treatise of al-Sufi (1437 (The National Library of Paris), a miniature with the portrait of Ouloughbek (Gallery Frir, Vachington), the miniatures of “Khamsa” by Alicher Navoï (1446-1447, (Istanbul, Topkapu saray) is an example.

The art of the miniature at Samarkand and Bukharase developed in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Islam forbade the drawing of living beings. Uzbek painting began to develop in the thirties of the 20th century. Ural Tansikbayev is one of the first painters of Uzbekistan. The fifties of the 20th century are the years of reign of the kinds of portraiture and landscapes in Uzbek painting. Painters like U. Tansikbayev, N.Karakhan, R. Timourov, A.Abdoullayev, C.Abdoullayev, V.Evenko, M.Nabiyev, V.Jmakin, R. Fadeyev, R.Akhmedov, M.Saidov, N. Kuzibayev are the famous painters of this era. The portraits of R. Chariyev, B.Babayev had a reputation in the seventies of the 20th century. After the independence of Uzbekistan Uzbek painting experienced a new development. Many painters have appeared. Painters like L.Sadreddiniv, F.Tachmukhamedov, S.Seityagueev, K.Tursunov, T. Turgunov, T. Kuziyev, T. Xalmirzayev have known each other through their works.


Archaeologists have discovered in the territory of Uzbekistan frescoes, ancient ornamental sculptures and the Middle Ages. Ornamental painting and sculpture in relief have begun to develop for 9-10 centuries. Canons of ornamental compositions of artisans have arrived to this day. Naqqoche is the craftsman of the ornamental frescoes. He is the specialist of the sculpture on stucco and on wood. The Bukhara naqqches of the 19th century had great fame. Currently the artisans of Samarkand, Tashkent, Khiva are known in Uzbekistan. In our days the dynasty of Saidmakhmud Narkuziev successfully uses the style of the fresco of Fergana.

Thickness of lacquer

The miniature of the vegetable motifs adorns the objects made of papier mâche, like the plumbers, binders, chess, boxes, boxes. The miniature is reported on the primer by small brushes using the tincture of gold or bronze in sheet or powder. Varnishes and dyes for papier-mâché are prepared according to varied and compound recipes.

The manufacture of papier mâché and miniature lacquer has been known in Uzbekistan since time immemorial. Especially the school of Samarkand is famous from 14 century. At the Gour Emir mausoleum and at the Bibi Khanoume mosque, the authentic papier-mâché medallions were found in the interior decors of these monuments. The interior dome of the Gour Emir mausoleum is decorated with 998 gilded paper mache elements. 112 authentic elements were used as models in scrupulous restoration work.

Snuff boxes

The Uzbeks make many objects of common use in coloquints, especially snuffboxes – “nosqovok”. They are different in form, size and decoration. Dyeing, polishing, trimming with precious metal and precious and semi-precious stones in the

Manufacture of fabrics.


Ceramics occupies a special place in the applied arts of Uzbekistan. On the territory of the country the archaeologists discovered specimens of the ceramics of the high antiquity. These are dishes, bowls, vases, jugs, jars of all shapes. They are convenient for use and at the same time are distinguished by finesse. For centuries the inhabitants of our country used pottery. The ceramics of Uzbekistan are characterized by the high quality, the beauty of the forms, the ornamental design, the harmony of the colors. The ceramics of the country is divided into two groups:

Glazed terracotta and glazed ceramics. The ceramic centers of Uzbekistan are: Guijdouvan, Chakhrizabs, Samarkand, Tashkent, Richtan, Khorezm. The last decades the pottery of Gouroumsarai, Denaou, Tchimbai, Karakalpakistan have taken a new lease of life. The ceramics of these centers are divided into two groups according to the colors: blue – white – green and green – brown – yellow. We choose colors according to technical possibilities. In Fergana and Khorezm the alkaline glaze is used, so the colors blue – white – green give sharp and beautiful shades. The green – brown – yellow colors decompose under the alkaline glaze. In Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara one uses the lead glaze, the shades of colors green – brown – yellow are very beautiful. Ceramic secrets are handed down from father to son.


Knives with pointed blades of craftsmen from Uzbekistan are known all over the world.

Metal appliques, embroidery, application, and miniature decoration leather sheaths

These knives are called “gouldor pitchok”, which means “the decorated knife”. They are of various forms. You can see knives with narrow or wide blades, straight or curved, with whole or compound handles, made of wood or bone, inlaid or painted. The centers for the production of knives are Tchoust (Fergana) and Khiva (Khorezm).


The art of fabric making of Uzbekistan also has ancient roots. In the second half of 19 century in many towns and villages such as Marguilan, Namangan, Bukhara, Andijan, Samarkand, Kitab, Guijdouvan, Urgout, Becharyk and Many others made various handicraft fabrics: cotton, silk, half-silk, with the design and without, of the compound armor and simple. They were used to make clothes and decorate homes. The most popular fabrics were: cotton and silk velvet; The reps in moire; Delicate and light silk scarves; Multicolored atlases; The covers with soft arabesques. The methods of ornamentation were different. The bekassam and the khan atlas were the most renowned commodities in the Orient. But under Bolsheviks (1917) women were “liberated” in the cotton fields by defending the weaving. This craft was forbidden until the fifties. In the fifties the Soviets began to produce silks indiscriminately in the valley of Fergana. After independence the Uzbek government attracted a lot of attention to fabric making. Currently, the old traditional manufacturing techniques are used. The yarns are colored before weaving. The fabrics are woven by hand. Geometric and floral ancestral symbols, tulips, peppers, poppies, butterflies, peacock tails, scorpions, snakes, frogs, protective animals against the evil eye are the motifs of the khanatlas.

According to a legend about the origin of the ikate fabrics, a young man loved a princess. The father of the princess, the khan of the country, had promised her daughter in marriage to the one weaving the most beautiful and unique fabric of the world. The young man wove day and night fabrics more beautiful than each other. But they did not like the khan. The lover has woven so much as the blood flowed from his fingers. The desperate young man would like to drown himself in the great lake. Suddenly he perceived that his blood was mixed with the water of this lake. His blood intermixed with the reflection of the trees and with the blue of the sky gave an image so harmonious and extraordinary that he decided to reproduce them in his tissues.

He brought this incomparable fabric to the khan. The beauty of this fabric was unequaled.

The astonished khan gave permission to the marriage of the young man and the princess.


Printed canvas

Women embroidered huge fabric panels for years. The most used embroidery stitches are: the bosma (satin stitch), the yurma (chain) the iroqi (cross stitch), the khamdouzi (double satin stitch). Uses suzani and oypalak as wall panels.

It is very surprising to see in the suzani and oypalak the circle, the Zoroastrian symbol of the universe in a rectangle. Protectors against the evil eye like snakes, frogs, roosters, scorpions are also the motifs of suzanis with embroidery.

The manufacture of printed canvases was widely developed among the peoples of Central Asia. Uzbeks used daily tablecloths, curtains, blankets, scarves, cloths for dresses, horse shields, and even shrouds. The artisans of this art of Bukhara were renowned. Good articles were also made in the other regions.

Embroidered articles ornamented houses and objects of use. Embroidery had a particular application. The Uzbeks wear national festive clothes and everyday with embroidery.

Since 19 century, Bukhara, Nourata, Chakhrizabs, Samarkand, Djizak, Tashkent, Fergana have become centers of embroidery according to local styles. This art was considered woman.

Embroidery in gold and silver

Gold and silver threads embroidered dresses, turbans, skins, chalvars, shoes and for men and women. Gold embroidery with fine gemstones, metal pieces adorned objects of palace decoration, horse caparones and chabraques. The composition and technique of gold embroidery is level in Uzbekistan. Previously, the drawings were cut on the skin, then they were fixed on the fabric and sewn by the threads of gold and silver. There are more than 30 different seams. Bukara and Samarkand are centers of embroidery in gold and silver.


The tradition of making carpets in Uzbekistan is ancient. According to the finds of archaeologists beyond Uzbekistan it can be assumed that the inhabitants of this country wove the best carpets even in the 6th century BC and are called the carpets of that time The Bactrian carpets. In the miniatures of Bukhara and Samarkand of the sixteenth century we can see the carpets.

Generally, carpets bear the name of their origin or place of sale. For example, the carpets of Bukhara. These carpets are sold in the bazaar of Bukhara, but they are made by the Turkmen tribes. Bukhara was one of the largest centers of carpet sales in Central Asia. These were women and girls who made carpets. The techniques were transmitted from mother to daughter. Before it was considered that it took 25 years of experience to become an accomplished weaver. Women of the villages of Uzbekistan make knotted rugs. The traditions of carpet making in Uzbekistan are preserved and developed. The carpets of Uzbekistan are subdivided into three groups: long hair, short hair and woven carpets.


The treatment of leather has been known since antiquity. The sedentary and nomadic tribes always needed leather products such as clothing, shoes, military and hunting equipment, household utensils, road objects. Peaussiers knew recipes from the manufacture of leather, tanning by natural dyes. The elastic and beautiful leathers were produced. The peasants of Bukhara and Samarkand made the sorrows of the skins of donkeys and horses; Colored morocco of goat and sheep skins; The skins of cattle hides; The leatherwork of the sheepskins. The morocco and the youfte were decorated by impressive stamping. Stamping was used for the manufacture of trunks, chests, and purses and belts.


Uzbek jewelery also has very ancient roots and has not lost its importance in our days. Precious stones such as ruby, emerald, sapphire, pearls, turquoise, cornelian, jasper, coral adorned works in gold and silver. Uzbek jewelry includes bracelets, tiaras, pectorals, earrings, pendants, nose rings, necklaces, chased silver amulets,

Gilded with gold and encrusted with semi-precious stones.