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Islamic Art 1000-1400


Islamic Art 1000-1400 Historical Context-Islam 1000-1100 Arab lands were North and North-east Africa with Arab trading stations along the African East coast Islam ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Date added: 25 February 2020
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Title: Islamic Art 1000-1400

Islamic Art 1000-1400
Historical Context-Islam 1000-1100
  • Arab lands were North and North-east Africa with
    Arab trading stations along the African East
  • Islam expansion had slowed and was divided
    between Samanid rulers of Persia, the Fatimids of
    Egypt, and the Umayyad caliphs of Spain
  • Islam was revitalized with the Seljik conquers
    (Central Asia Nomad conquers recently converted
    to Islam)
  • Loss of some Christian Byzantine land ( Armenia)
    and Jerusalem captured from the more tolerant
    Fatimid caliphs of Egypt (they allowed Christian
    pilgrimages to Jerusalem)
  • The regeneration of Islam posed an immediate
    threat ot the Christian people of the western
    world- the start of the Holy Wars- The First
    Crusade- 1095-
  • Jerusalem was taken in by the crusaders in 1099

Contributions to Architecture and Art and Science
  • Cult of the Garden-cool, well watered and
    essentially formal
  • Rigid orthodoxy- exiled figurative painting from
    mosque and home alike
  • Repeated vegetal and geometric patterns,
    patterned brickwork
  • Medical encyclopaedias, pioneering work on
    optics, furthered understanding of Hindu algebra
    and arithmetic, astrological and navigational

Islam- Muslim Spain
  • 1198
  • Isolated from the other areas of Islamic rule
  • Giralda tower in Seville- a minaret of the
    Almohad mosque (since made into a bellfry)

Earlier Byzantine Studies
  • Remember -Dome of the Rock
  • Haigis Sophia was a Byzantine church- now it is a

  • First state, left.  "Minaret and observatory of
    the Great Mosque, completed by the Almohades in
    1198, also commemorating the battle of Alarcos,
    happened three years before."
  •   Second state, right. "Bell Tower of the main
    Church of the Christian reconquerors, after the
    fall of the balls due to the earthquake on august
    24, 1356.."
  •   Third state, center, present day. "Bell tower
    of the Cathedral completed in 1568 the Christian
    part by the Cordoba architect Fernando Ruiz and
    other masters, including the 1890 restoration

  • Muslim Spain was intellectual centre in the 12th
    century-study of science and philosophy in the
    Muslim world (Almohad dynasty)
  • Averroes commentator of Aristotle Ibn al-Arabi
    mystical scholar Ibn al-Baytar famous botanist,
    Abu Marwan ibn Zuhr physician and co-author with
    Averroes of a medical encyclopedia

Mosque of Al-Aqmar
  • Arab interest in trading Western Africa- gold
    ivory and slaves
  • Indias warring rulers left the door open for
    Muhammad Guris invasion of Northern India
  • Taking of Dehli on 1192- Muslim domination in
    Northern India would remain for centuries
  • It took a century and a half to take over India
    as it retreated southward.

  • The exotic art of Hindu and Buddhist India was
    considered Icons by the Muslim conquerors
  • The Mosque of Islam at Delhi was supplied by
    stones taken from Hindu shrines
  • Dominant feature is the Qutb Minar a great
    minaret begun in 1199 and conceived as a tower of
  • Inscriptions from the Koran, decoration
    traditional Indian inspiration

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Islamic Art
  • Mongol invasion effected the Islamic culture-
    causing early internal divisions yet began to
    recover at the end of the 1200s
  • Some of the brilliance was preserved at Seljuk,
    Anatolia early 13th century Sultans. Among these
    were the Medreses (schools of theology)

Ince Medrese Turkey 1267
  • Though built (1267) as a Muslim theological
    seminary, it has been restored and is now Konya's
    Museum of Wooden Artifacts and Stone Carving.
  • Grand portal, heavily and completely carved with
    Seljuk decoration and Kur'anic inscriptions, is
    among the finest of all Seljuk grand portals.
  • The minaret, partially destroyed by a lightning
    strike in 1901, was exceptionally tall (see the
    old photo below) and finely decorated with
    typically Seljuk sky-blue tiles
  • Exhibits include elaborately carved wooden mosque
    doors and decorative panels, marble panels carved
    with typical Seljuk designs of birds, lions,
    angels and double-headed eagles and even a few

Kubab-abad Palace wall tiles
Ribbon of dragons
Sultan Han-1232- fortified, built a stops for
refreshment between major Anatolian cities- great
lodging-hospital- mosque. The han faces south. It
is the second largest han in Turkey, and is one
of the most spectacular and striking hans of the
entire Middle East. It was undoubtedly one of the
most luxurious inns known, the five-star "Hilton"
of its day.
detail of dragon heads at summit of mosque arches
  • Into this culture the Mongols broke
  • Lost some of its artisans that fled especially
    skilled metal workers
  • Gained some knowledge of Chinese painting and
  • Loss of territory in Spain (but not Granada)
  • Religious refugees from Spain great exodus of
    scholars and mystics

Islamic Decorative Art
  • Emphasis on abstract decoration due to
    religiously inspired
  • Frequently accompanied by Calligraphy
  • Men and animals occasionally shown, but rare
  • shape and pattern
  • Though they resulted in a loss of dramatic power
    (due to no figurative art) they made up for the
    loss was in the intricate ingenuity of its
    flowering designs.

Detail from the Seljuk Friday mosque at Isfahan.
The architectural complexity of the muqarnas is
highlighted by the geometric pattern of the
Mina'i Bowl Late 12th-early 13th century
Persian, Seljuk Dynasty Ceramic The Seljuks
were responsible for the most important
innovation in early medieval Islamic pottery.
They rediscovered a frit body of clay, quartz,
and potash, an ancient Egyptian invention which
permitted a variety of color and decoration.
Mina'i (enameled) was the most elaborate Seljuk
pottery style, requiring several firings for
pigments and gold leaf. Its figural style,
derived from wall and miniature painting, The
mina'i bowl depicts a scene from the Shahnama
(The Book of Kings), the 11th-century Persian
poet Firdausi's epic poem. The subject, the
victorious Iranian King Faridun leading his
vanquished Arab foe Zahhak, was chosen for
narrative and symbolic reasons.
Metropolitan museum of Art Tile assemblage,
first half of 13th century Seljuq-Anatolia
Metropolitan of Art Frieze tile with phoenix, ca.
1270s Iran (probably Takht-i Sulayman) Fritware,
overglaze luster-painted
There are very few secular illustrated texts
which survive from late Antiquity or Byzantium.
The rise of illustrated secular works under Islam
occur in the late 12th and 13th centuries. Kalila
wa Dimna were the examples of these works that
illustrate the appearance of an immensely rich
merchant class in the Near East with means and
pretensions to ape the rulers. Meanwhile, the
Persian paintings were mostly about the pride of
the kings and rulers. There were also religious
Persian paintings which represent the Persian
interpretations of Islam.
A. Miniature Paintings "Miniatures" or small
paintings were often used to illustrate books.
They were more common in Turkey and Persia (now
Iran and parts of Iraq), and later in Muslim
India (the Mughal Empire). The art of these
places was also influenced by the Mongol
conquests of the 1200's. After that time, Persian
and Turkish paintings were influenced by Chinese
art styles.
I- Early Islamic Illustrations
II- Secular illustrations and Persian Painting
King Khusraw Parviz Listening to Barbad the
Concealed Musician Illustration from a manuscript
of the Shahnama (Book of kings) Iraq, Baghdad(?),
c. 1300 Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on
paper 6 x 5 1/8 in. (15.3 x 13 cm) The Nasli M.
Heeramaneck Collection, gift of Joan
Palevsky M.73.5.406
Gallery underneath the dome, tomb of the Ilkhanid
ruler, Uljaitu, in Sultaniya in Iran1307-131
Geometry and Islam
  • The star was chosen as the most popular motif for
    Islamic decorations because its regular geometric
    shape symbolized equal radiation in all
    directions from A central point.
  • All regular stars are created with A division of
    A circle into equal parts. The center of the star
    is the center of the circle which represents one
    god and the center of islam which is mecca
    toward which all moslems face in prayer.
  • The rays of the star reach out in all directions
    which represent the spread of islam throughout
    all the world.

Bowl Egypt, twelfth century Earthenware,
overglaze luster painted Height 2 9/16 in. (6.51
cm) Diameter 6 13/16 in. (17.3 cm) The Madina
Collection of Islamic Art, gift of Camilla
Chandler Frost M.2002.1.35
Folding Loran stand Seljuk, 13th c crafted from a
single piece of wood- geometrical and plant
motifs, peacocks and Solomon's seal and cypress
trees were commonly used in their carving
Manuscript of Sughrat (Socrates) belongs to a
13th century Seljuk illustrator. It is currently
kept at Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul, Turkey.
Islam 1300-1400
  • Islamic society future lay with the Ottman vigor
    which took over Constantinople in 1391, having
    absorbed most of its territory (the high point of
    Ottman architecture is in the mid 16th century,
    they had little time at this date)
  • Granada Spain was still Islamic- the most
    remarkable building- the Alhambra
  • An Islamic citadel a large, fortified,
    enclosure- palace of the ruler
  • It included within its walls- mosques,, schools,
    administration buildings with gardens and
    apartments for the court
  • During a time when Muslim, Jews and Christian
    people lived side by side (at times uneasily)
  • Time of artistic brilliance

  • The Alhambra sits on a plateau in the Sierra
    Nevada Mountains just ouside Granada, Spain.
  • MuhammadV (1361-91) was the principal patron of
    the complex as we know it today. Although Yusuf 1
    (1333-54) established the current layout and
    decorative tone.
  • Elaborate use of light, water and garden spaces
  • Expresses Arabic poetic tradition and Quranic
    imagery of paradise
  • Numerous inscriptions, mostly verses of Ibn
    Zamrak-Muhammads Vs court poet.

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Court of the Lions
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