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Objects & Ornaments
13. Pyxis, Cordova, Spain, 950-75 AD, Metropolitan Museum of Art.Tree of life composition

Biomorphic patterns in Islamic art – Tracing the origin

Islamic biomorphic patterns are usually called arabesques. The term ‘arabesque’ is relatively new; it came to Europe after Napoleon’s campaign in Africa. “In a broad sense of this term, the arabesque includes ornamentation…

Photo by ben oït (http://www.flickr.com/photos/29713277@N02/4823605456/in/gallery-islamicheritage-72157629699521587/)

The Enamelled Glass, Mosque Lamps

Mosque lamps of glass, enamelled and often with gilding, survive in considerable numbers from the Islamic art of the Middle Ages, especially the 13th and 14th centuries, with Cairo in Egypt and Aleppo and Damascus in Syria as the most important centres of production. These are oil…

Dish with stylized vegetal decoration. Iran, Kirman (?), second half of the 17th century Stonepaste, underglaze painted and colored slip decoration H. 8.2 cm; Max. Diam. 47 cm; Base Diam. 27 cm.

Safavid Ceramics and Tiles

The complex history of Safavid ceramics is due in part to the geographical position of Persia, placed as it was between the Ottoman Empire, the lands of Uzbek rulers, the Mughal empire and…

Khusrau Hunting: Page from a manuscript of the Khusrau and Shirin of Hatifi, dated 1498; Ottoman Turkey (probably Istanbul).

Art of the Ottomans (before 1600)

At the time of its foundation in the early fourteenth century, the Osmanli or Ottoman state was one among many small principalities that emerged as a result of the disintegration of the Seljuq sultanate…

Qur'an case, Nasrid period (1232–1492), second half of 15th century. Spain

Qur’an case, Nasrid period (1232–1492)

Qur’an case, Nasrid period (1232–1492), second half of 15th century. Spain This small Qur’an case, a quintessential devotional and amuletic object, is inscribed with the Nasrid dynastic emblem: “There is no conqueror but…

amulet

Amulets and Talismans from the Islamic World

A talisman is any object that is imbued with protective powers, and all cultures have manifestations of such objects. In the world of Islam, they bear Qur’anic inscriptions, astrological signs, and religious narratives….

Introduction to Muslim Art and Ornaments

This short article is taken from the full article which is available here as a PDF file Muslim art differs from the art of other cultures in the form and material as well…

Doris Dukes Shangri La – Center for Islamic Arts and Culture

The collection at Shangri La consists of about 3,500 objects, within which are several distinct sub-collections that shed light on Islam, Islamic cultures and Islamic art, among other traditions. Below are links to…

Early Medieval Dynasties in The West: Fatimids, Ayyubids

As Abbasid authority weakened, the Shi’ite Fatimid dynasty (909−1171)—claiming descent from Fatima, daughter of the Prophet and wife of Ali—rose to power in North Africa. They expanded into Egypt and Syria, and in…

star_and_cross_tiles

An Italian Portrait of Mehmet–the Conqueror

Invented in Iraq in the ninth century, the luster technique enjoyed long and wide popularity. Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Islamic-controlled Spain all developed important centers for luster production—and so eventually did Renaissance Italy….

Mamluk Sultan

For many centuries, metalwork was a leading art form that influenced decoration in other media. Inlay with gold or silver seems to have become common from the twelfth century, spreading westward from Seljuk…

The “LUCK OF EDENHALL”

The beaker was probably made in Aleppo, Syria, but its fame occurred on English soil, where it had been taken by a returning Crusader. The quality of Syrian glass was renowned; in Europe…

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