Loading...

ARTH303: Art of the Islamic World

Unit 2: The Abbasid (750-1258) and Seljuk (C. 1040-1157) Dynasties and Islamic Art and Architecture in the Maghrib   This unit examines the art and architecture of the Abbasid and Seljuk dynasties and the regional rulers of Anatolia and the Maghreb.  The unit begins by looking at the distinctive artistic and architectural style formulated under the Abbasid Caliphate that spread throughout the rest of the Muslim world.   The unit then turns to the short-lived but influential Seljuk dynasty that had a lasting impact on the politics, culture, and artistic traditions of the Islamic world.  Finally, the unit concludes by looking at Islamic art and architecture in the Maghreb or Northwestern Africa.  After completing this unit, you will have a comprehensive understanding of major artistic and architectural innovations of the Abbasids and Seljuks and regional developments in Islamic architecture in Anatolia and the Maghreb.

Unit 2 Time Advisory
This unit will take you about 11 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 2.1: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 2.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 2.3: 3 hours

Unit2 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify major building projects undertaken by the Abbasids, Seljuks, and the rulers of the Maghreb.
  • Explain major architectural and artistic developments under the Abbasids and Seljuks.
  • Explain major artistic and architectural developments in the Maghreb and their relationship to developments in other parts of the Islamic world.

2.1 Abbasid Art, Architecture and City Planning   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the cAbbasid Period (750–1258)” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the cAbbasid Period (750–1258)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This reading also covers the topics for subunits 2.1.1-2.1.3.  Please read this text as an introduction to the history, art, and architecture of the Abassid period.  After you have read the text, click on “View Slideshow” and view examples of Abbasid art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Click on each individual image and read the text.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.1 Abassid Architecture and City Planning   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Baghdad,” “Samarra” and “Building Style: Abbasid” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Baghdad,” (HTML) “Samarra,” (HTML) “Building Style: Abbasid” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This reading also covers the topics for subunits 2.1.1.1-2.1.1.2.  First, read the pages about Bagdad and Samarra, making sure to click on “view thumbnail images” at the top right hand corner of each page to view these sites.  Then, read the page “Building Style: Abbasid” as a general introduction to Abbasid architecture.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.1.1 Baghdad   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1.1.  Focus specifically on the webpage, “Baghdad.”

2.1.1.2 Samarra   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.1.1.  Focus specifically on the webpage, “Samarra.”

2.1.1.3 Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire webpage.  Then, click on the thumbnails at the top right corner of the page to view images of the Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.1.4 Jawsaq al-Khaqani Palace   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Jawsaq al-Khaqani Palace” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Jawsaq al-Khaqani Palace” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire webpage.  Then, click on the thumbnails at the top right corner of the page to view images of the Jawsaq al-Khaqani Palace.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.1.5 Sulaybiya Mausoleum   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Sulaybiya Mausoleum” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Sulaybiya Mausoleum” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire webpage.  Then, click on the thumbnails at the top right corner of the page to view images of the Sulaybiya Mausoleum.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.2 Abbasid Calligraphy and Manuscripts   - Reading: The Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Style in Islamic Art: Abbasid Style” Link: The Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Style in Islamic Art: Abbasid Style” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This reading covers the topics for subunits 2.1.2 and 2.1.3.  Please read the short text as an introduction to Abbasid art.  Then, on the right side of the webpage, click on and read each of the following sections for information about the different characteristics of Abassid art: “Kufic script,” “Vine leaves,” and “Life at Court” (4 webpages total, including the introduction).
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.1.3 Abbasid Ceramics   - Reading: Museum with No Frontiers’ “Abbasid Ceramics” Link: Museum with No Frontiers’ “Abbasid Ceramics” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the text on the page, and then click on the hyperlink in the right hand of the page titled “Next page.”  Read all three webpages about Abbasid ceramics.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2 Seljuk Art and Architecture   2.2.1 Seljuk Architecture   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Building Style: Seljuk” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Building Style: Seljuk” (HTML)

                                                                                                         
 Instructions: Please read this text as an introduction to Seljuk
architecture.  
                                
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.1.1 Madrasa al-Nizamiyya   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Madrasa al-Nizamiyya” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Madrasa al-Nizamiyya” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entire webpage.  Then, click on the
thumbnails at the top right corner of the webpage to view images of
the Madrasa al-Nizamiyya.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.1.2 The Great Mosque at Isfahan/Friday Mosque of Isfahan   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Friday Mosque of Isfahan” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Friday Mosque of Isfahan” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entire webpage.  Then, click on the
thumbnails at the top right corner of the webpage to view images of
the Friday Mosque of Isfahan.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.1.3 Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entire webpage.  Then, click on the
thumbnails at the top right corner of the webpage to view images of
the Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Saudi Aramco World: Jane Waldron Grutz’s “Oasis of Turquoise and Ravens” Link: Saudi Aramco World: Jane Waldron Grutz’s “Oasis of Turquoise and Ravens” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this article about the Seljuk city of Merv that originally appeared on pages 16-27 of the July/August 1998 print edition of Saudi Aramco World.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Flickr’s “Sultan Sanjar’s Mausoleum” Link: Flickr’s “Sultan Sanjar’s Mausoleum” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please click on each of the images to enlarge and study them closely.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.1.4 Seljuk Caravanserais   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Seljuk Caravanserais” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Seljuk Caravanserais” (HTML)

 Instructions: Please read the entire webpage.  Then, click on the
thumbnails at the top right corner of the webpage to view images of
Seljuk Caravanserai.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.2 Seljuk Art   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the Seljuqs of Iran (ca. 1040–1157)” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the Seljuqs of Iran (ca. 1040–1157)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This reading covers the topics for sections 2.2.2.1 and 2.2.2.2.  Read this page as an introduction to the history and art of the Seljuk period.  After you have read the text, click on “View Slideshow” to see examples of Seljuk art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Click on each individual image, and read the accompanying text.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.2.2.1 Metalwork   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.2.2.  Focus specifically on the metal objects in the slideshow.

2.2.2.2 Ceramics   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 2.2.2.  Focus specifically on the ceramic objects in the slideshow.

2.2.3 Art and Architecture of the Seljuk Period in Anatolia   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the Seljuq Period in Anatolia (1081–1307)” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the Seljuq Period in Anatolia (1081–1307)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this page as an introduction to the history and art of the Seljuk period in Anatolia.  After you have read the text, click on “View Slideshow” to explore an example of Seljuk Anatolian art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Click on the image, and read the accompanying text.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3 Islamic Art and Architecture in the Maghreb   2.3.1 Islamic Art of the Maghreb   - Reading: The David Collection’s “The Maghreb, Muslim North Africa” Link: The David Collection’s “The Maghreb, Muslim North Africa” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this text as an introduction to the history of the Maghreb.  Then, click on “Works of Art” and “Architecture.”  On each new screen, make sure to click on the individual images to learn more about each object or structure.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

2.3.2 Islamic Architecture of the Maghrib   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Great Mosque of Kairouan,” “Zaytuna Mosque,” “Qarawiyyin Mosque,” and “Attarin Madrasa” Links: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Great Mosque of Kairouan,” “Zaytuna Mosque,” “Qarawiyyin Mosque,” and “Attarin Madrasa
 
Note: All websites are in HTML format.
 
Instructions: Please read these pages as an introduction to early Islamic architecture of the Maghreb.  After you have finished reading each of these pages, make sure to click on “view thumbnail images” at the top right hand corner of each webpage to view images of these structures.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Saudi Aramco World: Josh Martin’s “Fez: Preserving a City” Link: Saudi Aramco World: Josh Martin’s “Fez: Preserving a City” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this article about Fez, Morocco, which originally appeared on pages 20-27 of the May/June 1993 print edition of Saudi Aramco World.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.