From the ninth century onward, their once humble craft flourished as an art remarkable for its vitality and variety of styles. First around the seat of the Abbasid caliphate in Iraq and in the northeastern provinces of Khorasan and Transoxiana, then in Egypt, Syria, Iran and centers scattered across the vast Muslim lands, master artisans turned the local clays into objects of spectacular beauty unlike any that had been known before, or that were to be produced in Christian Europe until many centuries later. Their preoccupation was with techniques of surface decoration. Although impressed by the fine porcelain and stoneware that began to be imported from China in early medieval times, the Islamic potters lacked the hard-firing clays necessary to duplicate their massive hardness and smooth glazes.
In the Islamic version — which was known over a wide area, including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Iran — the Roman balsamarium, a tube-shaped unguent flask, is typically transformed through the addition of one or more lively pack animals, who now transport the flask.
Like their late Roman prototypes, vessels of this type are often elaborately decorated with trailed or applied glass thread. Other examples of glass, metalwork, carved wood, and textiles in the collection reflect a mixed artistic heritage.
Even Umayyad religious monuments — such as the well-known Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, whose function and meaning are clearly Islamic — demonstrate this formative process, which combined and transformed classical, Byzantine, and Sasanian elements.
Gradually, as the Muslim faith and the nascent Islamic state became more established, a uniquely Islamic art began to emerge.
Although several styles of writing were practiced in the seventh and eighth centuries, by the ninth century so-called Kufic had supplanted these in the production of Qur'ans.
Named after the city al-Kufa, in southern Iraq, this is a remarkably diverse, rectilinear script, written, like all Arabic scripts, from right to left. Early Qur'ans, copied in the Kufic script fig. Short vowels were usually indicated by red, green, or gold dots, and diacritical marks distinguishing certain consonants were denoted by diagonal strokes.
This system was in common use until the eleventh century. Gold illumination sometimes signaled the beginning of each chapter, and gold medallions were often used to denote groups of five or ten verses.
Parchment, which is made from cured and scraped animal skin, was the preferred material for early Islamic and early medieval Qur'ans. The horizontal format of the parchment page works particularly well with the angular Kufic script, in which certain letters are written in broad, horizontal strokes.
Although papermaking was already known in the early Islamic period, parchment seems to have been preferred for Qur'ans for as long as Kufic script remained in popular use, up to the twelfth century. Not only was Kufic script an ideal partner for the parchment page, but its rectilinear form was also well suited to inscriptions in a variety of media, such as wood, stone, textiles, and ceramics.
In these instances the script is often embellished by palmettes or leaves that sprout from the tops of the letters; this type of writing is known as foliated Kufic.
Of the many diverse arts that flourished in the early Islamic period, textiles played an especially significant role in society, one that continued in subsequent periods. Textiles were ubiquitous in Islamic lands, serving as clothing, household furnishings, and portable architecture tents.
The manufacture of and trade in textiles were highly sophisticated and profitable industries that built upon Byzantine and Sasanian traditions. Often made with costly materials such as silk, and gold- and silver-wrapped thread and decorated with complex designs, textiles were luxury goods signifying wealth and social status.
Islamic textiles were also widely exported to the West, where their prominence is underscored by their impact on European languages. For example, the English words cotton and mohair derive from Arabic, while taffeta and seersucker come from Persian.Study of Islamic pottery Arthur Lane produced two books which made substantial contribution to understanding the history and merit of Muslim ceramics.
The first book was dedicated to the study of early ceramics from the Abbasid period till the Seljuk times, sketching the various events which played a significant role in the rise and fall of particular styles. It looks like you've lost connection to our server. Please check your internet connection or reload this page.
A Historical Overview of African Art History. Posted on December 20, by MAMcIntosh. Seated Figure, terracotta, 13th century, used especially for sculpture and pottery) who is still revered as a culture hero in the Mande-speaking world.
At its height, this Islamic empire, which flourished until the seventeenth century, encompassed. Lustreware is a decorative technique invented by the 9th century AD Abbasid potters of the Islamic Civilization in what is today Iraq.
Islamic pottery - Wikipedia The early history of Islamic pottery remains somewhat obscure and speculative as little evidence has survived. Apart from tiles which escaped destruction due to their use in architectural decoration of buildings and mosques, much early medieval pottery vanished.
history of Islamic pottery making is therefore taken up by the struggle against this deficiency, and by efforts to develop a ceramic body that would at least come close to the admired products of .