Islamic decorative arts

Tuesday 18th June at 10.45am

Lecturer: Chris Bradley

Exploring the Decorative Arts of the Islamic World This lecture covers aspects of Islamic art in some of the most important cities, sites and museums in the world especially Cordoba, Cairo, Damascus, Isfahan and Samarkand. From its Arabian heartland comes a wealth of decorated ceramics, carved wood, metalwork, glass, tiles, mosaics, carpets, architecture and gardens. Islamic art encompasses the great wealth of artistic treasures inspired by the Islamic religion, but there is also non-religious art such as the colourful dancing figures from the pleasure palaces of Persia; the simple mud brick decorations of a merchant caravanserai; or the delicate carved marble of arguably the world’s most beautiful building – the Taj Mahal. We tend to think of all Islamic art in a religious context, but within these regions are many non-Muslim communities of Copts, Jews and Zoroastrians whose own art is inextricably linked. Despite unifying themes of mosques, minarets, madrassas and mausoleums to be found between Morocco and China, each region has its own history that influences the decorative art we see today.