2 LUXURY ARTSFurnishings of Islamic mosques and palaces -> sumptuous materials and rich decorative patternsMuslim artisans -> worked w/metal, wood, glass, and ivoryOrnate ceramicsBronze and brass objectsSilk and wool textiles -> featured both abstract and pictorial motifsWood was rare -> little movable furnishings -> instead, rugs and cushions
3 SILKConfronting lions and palm tree, fragment of a textile said to be from Zandana, near Bukhara, Uzbekistan, eighth century. Silk compound twill, 2’ 11” x 2’ 9 1/2”.Silks are one of the glories of Islamic art -> fragile -> few surviveThe Silk Road = route from Asia to the Middle East and Europe on which goods were shippedThis rare silk fragment is an early example of Islamic silk textiles -> features animal motifs that were common in secular contexts but shunned for mosques
4 METALWORKSULAYMAN, Ewer in the form of a bird, 796. Brass with silver and copper inlay, 1’ 3” high.Cast brass -> signed and dated by its maker -> utilitarian bird ewer resembles a freestanding statueEngraved decoration on the body combine incised lines suggesting feathers and abstract motifs and Arabic calligraphy
5 CALLIGRAPHYKoran page with beginning of surah 18, al- Kahf (The Cave), ninth or early tenth century. Ink and gold on vellum, 7 1/4” x 10 1/4”.Calligraphy is the most prized art form -> appears on most Islamic works of artFaithful wanted to reproduce the Koran’s sacred words in as beautiful a script as humanly possibleThe practice of calligraphy was a holy task and required long and arduous trainingThis Koran page shows the stately rectilinear Kufic script -> five text lines and a palm tree finial -> characteristically does not include depictions of animals or humans
6 LATER ISLAMIC ART AND ARCHITECTURE ISLAMIC SPAINIn the early 11th century the Umayyad caliphs’ power in Spain falls apartBerber soldiers rule southern Spain for several generationsThe Muslim capital of Cordoba fell to the Christians in 1236From 1236 until the final defeat of the Muslims in Spain in 1492 an Arab dynasty called the Nasrids rules what’s left from the their capital at GranadaNew regional centers of Islamic art and architecture appear in the 2nd millenniumKey centers of later Islamic art and architecture are the Middle East, Turkey, and Spain
7 THE ALHAMBRAIn Granada the Nasrids construct a huge palace-fortress called the Alhambra = “the Red” in Arabic because of the rose colored stone used for its walls and 23 towersOnly two of the palaces are preserved in good shape
8 Alhambra Palace -> The Court of the Lions, a unique remnant of Islamic animal statues.
9 Muqarnas dome, Hall of the Two Sisters, Alhambra palace, Granada, Spain, 1354– 1391. Dome sits on octagonal drum supported by squinches -> pierced by 8 pairs of windowsCeiling covered with 5,000 muqarnas -> intended to catch and reflect sunlight -> form beautiful abstract patterns -> symbolizes the dome of HeavenMUQARNA = a honeycomb-like decoration often applied in Islamic buildings to domes, niches, capitals, or vaults -> the surface resembles intricate stalactitesThe Alhambra
10 The AlhambraUnder the Nasrids, the Alhambra was transformed into a palatine city w/irrigation system composed of acequias for lush and beautiful gardens of the Generalife located outside the fortress.Previously, the old Alhambra structure had been dependent upon rainwater collected from a cistern and from what could be brought up from the Albaicín.The creation of the “Sultan’s Canal” solidified the identity of the Alhambra as a sumptuous palace-city rather than a defensive and ascetic structure.
11 Water does not play the same essential role in traditional European architecture as it does in Islamic architecture.The Quran states that ‘Every living thing is made of water’, and the prominence of this thought is visible in Islam’s use of water.The role played by water in Islamic architecture is as symbolic as it is practical.Water is not only used in a purely utilitarian manner: after all, it is the source of life and thus carries an important symbol - not only for Islam, but also for many cultures that associate it with life, purification and sustainability.
12 Of the outlying buildings in connection with the Alhambra, the foremost in interest is the Palacio de Generalife or Gineralife (the Muslim Jennat al Arif, or "Garden of the Architect").This villa probably dates from the end of the 13th century, but has been several times restored.Its gardens, however, with their clipped hedges, grottos, fountains, and cypress avenues, are said to retain their original Moorish character.The Alhambra
13 detail of an arabesque from the Alhambra Most design elements in Islamic world are based on plant motifs -> sometimes intermingled w/abstract geometric shapes and, in secular settings, with animal figuresNatural forms are so stylized that they are lost in the purely decorative tracery of the tendrils, leaves, and stalksThese arabesques, as they are often called because they are so characteristic of Islamic (“Arab”) art, form a pattern that covers an entire surface, whether that of a small utensil or the wall of a building.Patterns have no function but to decorate.detail of an arabesque from the AlhambraIslamic art features 3 types of patterns:ArabesquesCalligraphytessellation
14 MAUSOLEUM OF SULTAN HASAN Madrasa-mosque-mausoleum complex of Sultan Hasan (view from the south with the mausoleum in the foreground), Cairo, Egypt, begun 1356.In mid-13th century Genghiz Khan and the Mongols conquer much of the Eastern Islamic worldCenter of Islamic power moved from Baghdad to EgyptEgypt was ruled by the Mamluks -> their capital was Cairo -> largest Muslim city in the late Middle AgesThis MADRASA = “place of study” was built by Sultan Hasan -> contains 4 madrasas, a mosque, his tomb, and various other buildings
15 OTTOMAN EMPIREBetween 9th-11th centuries the Turkic people convert to IslamOttoman dynasty was founded by Osman I -> under his successors the Ottomans expand for 2 ½ centuries into Asia, Europe, and N. AfricaOttoman emperors were lavish patrons of architectureDome covered square is the nucleus of all Ottoman architectureOttomans conquer Constantinople in > Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia is converted into a mosque w/minaretsCentral plan mosque is the basic form of Ottoman building
16 SINAN THE GREAT AND MOSQUE OF SELIM II SINAN, Mosque of Selim II, Edirne, Turkey, 1568–1575Sinan = the most famous Ottoman architectMosque w/massive dome and four pencil thin minarets -> dome is higher than Hagia SophiaRegarded as the climax of Ottoman architecture, Sinan’s forms are clear and legible, like mathematical equations. Height, width, and masses are related to one another in a simple but effective ratio of 1:2
17 SINAN THE GREATInterior of Mosque of Selim II designed by Sinan the GreatMain hall is an octagon formed by 8 massive dome supports -> four half dome-covered corners of the square