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Science and Islam – a BBC documentary

Science and Islam – a BBC documentary

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th…

Leaf from an Arabic translation of the Materia Medica of Dioscorides ("The Pharmacy"), dated 1224 Iraq, Baghdad School Colors and gilt on paper

Leaf from an Arabic translation of the Materia Medica of Dioscorides

This folio is painted in the lively and appealing style of the Baghdad School: bright colors, sprightly figures in contemporary local dress, and a balanced, bilaterally symmetrical composition. The neutral color of the…

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Baghdad (Madinat al-Salam)

Baghdad was founded by the Abbasid caliph al- Mansur in 762. According to historical accounts al- Mansur built a round city with four gates and a palace and mosque at the centre. Leading…

Materials and Mediums – Islamic Art

The decorative arts in Islam are marked by a remarkable degree of stylistic consistency which has been applied to a broad range of materials, each of which had a craft-base of its own,…

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Yaqut al-Musta‘simi – Master Calligrapher

(early 13th century-1298 A.D.) Full name: Abu’l-Majd Jamal al-Din Yaqut, known as Yaqut al-Musta‘simi because he served Caliph al-Musta‘sim What he did: Refined the six scripts set down by Ibn al-Bawwab Gave the…

Style in Islamic Art (1250 – 1500 A.D)

Ilkhanid style The Ilkhanid style flourished in Iran. It was formed from three traditions, Chinese, Iranian and Islamic, under rulers descended from the Mongol conqueror Chingiz Khan. Chinese porcelain and silks were imported…

Style in Islamic Art (750-1250 AD)

Abbasid Style The Abbasid style emerged in Iraq between 750 and 850, when the Abbasid dynasty was at the height of its power. The Abbasid caliphs constructed huge and lavishly decorated palaces at…

The Evolution of Style

‘One would enquire in vain for the masters who brought this system to its flowering or those who later opened up new ways for its development. This art is totally anonymous and it…

Proportional writing system using dots

Ibn al-Bawwab – Master Calligrapher

late 10th century-1022 A.D. Full name: Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn Hilal, known as Ibn al-Bawwab (“Son of the Doorman”) What he did: Refined the rules of Ibn Muqla’s six scripts Developed a system of…

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Ibn Muqla – Master Calligrapher

885-940 A.D. Full name: Abu Ali Muhammad Ibn Ali, known as Ibn Muqla (“Son of Muqla”) What he did: Codified the six scripts (al aqlam al-sitta) that became the foundation for the practice of…

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Islamic Architecture – Abbasid Period

Under theAbbasid caliphate (750–1258), which succeeded the Umayyads (661–750) in 750, the focal point of Islamic political and cultural life shifted eastward from Syria to Iraq, where, in 762, Baghdad, the circular City of Peace…

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