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ARTH303: Art of the Islamic World

Unit 4: Art and Architecture of the Ilkhanid (1256-1353) and Timurid (c.1370-1507) Dynasties   This unit examines the art and architecture of two Islamic dynasties established in the wake of the Mongols: the Ilkhanids and the Timurids.  It begins by focusing on the Ilkhanid Summer Palace at Takht-i Sulayman, the Tomb of Oljetu, and the Ilkhanid patronage of manuscript illumination.  The unit then discusses the art and architecture of the Timurid dynasty, surveying the major characteristics of Timurid art and architecture and the development of the Herat School of Painting.  After completing this unit, you should have a comprehensive understanding of the artistic and architectural traditions of the Ilkhanid and Timurid dynasties.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit should take you about 12 hours.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 4.3: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 4.4: 2 hours

☐    Subunit 4.5: 3 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify major building projects undertaken by the Ilkhanids and Timurids.
  • Explain major architectural and artistic developments under the Ilhanids and Timurids.

4.1 Overview of Ilkhanid Art and Architecture   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the Ilkhanid Period (1256–1353)” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the Ilkhanid Period (1256–1353)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this page as an introduction to the history, art, and architecture of the Ilkhanid period.  After you have read the text, click on “View Slideshow” at the top of the webpage to see examples of art created during the Ilkhanid period 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.

4.2 Ilkhanid Architecture   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Building Style: Il-Khanid” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Building Style: Il-Khanid” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this text as an introduction to Il-Khanid architecture.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.2.1 The lkhanid Summer Palace at Takht-i Sulayman   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Stefano Carboni and Qamar Adamjee’s “Takht-i Sulayman and Tile Work in the Ilkhanid Period” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Stefano Carboni and Qamar Adamjee’s “Takht-i Sulayman and Tile Work in the Ilkhanid Period” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this page about the Ilkhanid Summer Palace at Takht-i-Sulayman.  After you have read the text, click on “View Slideshow” at the top of the webpage to see examples of two Ilkhanid tiles that may be from this site.  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.

  • Web Media: Voices Compassionate Education’s “Takht-e Soleyman” Link: Voices Compassionate Education’s “Takht-e Soleyman” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read the brief introduction, look closely at the photograph, and watch the YouTube video (approximately 4 minutes).

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

4.2.2 The Tomb of Öljeitü   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Oljeitu Tomb” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Oljeitu Tomb” (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 tomb of Öljeitü.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Web Media: Voices Compassionate Education’s “Soltaniyeh” Voices Compassionate Education’s “Soltaniyeh” (HTML)

    Instructions: Please read the brief introduction, look closely at the photograph, and watch the YouTube video (approximately 8 minutes).

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

4.3 Ilkhanid Art   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Stefano Carboni and Qamar Adamjee’s “Courtly Art of the Ilkhanids,” “The Art of the Book in the Ilkhanid Period,” and “The Religious Arts under the Ilkhanids” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Stefano Carboni and Qamar Adamjee’s “Courtly Art of the Ilkhanids,” (HTML) “The Art of the Book in the Ilkhanid Period,” (HTML)  and “The Religious Arts under the Ilkhanids” (HTML)
 
Instructions: These readings also cover topics for sections 4.3.1-4.3.3 of this course.  After you have read the text on each page, click on “View Slideshow” at the top of the webpage to see examples of Ilkhanid 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.

  • Reading: The Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Style in Islamic Art: Ilkhanid Style” Link: The Victoria and Albert Museum’s “Style in Islamic Art: Ilkhanid Style” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: This reading covers topics outlined for sections 4.3.1-4.3.3 in this course.  Please read the short text as an introduction to IlKhanid art.  Then, click on “Chinese Motifs,” “Iranian Traditions,” and “Elegant Calligraphy” to read about different characteristics of IlKhanid art.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.3.1 Ilkhanid Decorative Arts   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.3.  Focus specifically on the webpage, “Courtly Art of the Ilkhanids.”

4.3.2 The Art of the Book   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.3.  Focus specifically on the webpage, “The Art of the Book in the Ilkhanid Period.”

  • Reading: Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Stefano Carboni and Qamar Adamjee’s “Folios from the Great Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings) Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Stefano Carboni and Qamar Adamjee’s “Folios from the Great Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings)” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this text as about a famous Ilkhanid copy of the Shahnama. After you have read the text, click on “View Slideshow” and view different illustration from this text. 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.

4.3.3 Ilkhanid Religious Art   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 4.3.  Focus specifically on the webpage, “The Religious Arts under the Ilkhanids.”

4.4 Art and Architecture of the Timurid Dynasty   4.4.1 Timurid Architecture   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Building Style: Timurid” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Building Style: Timurid” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this text as an introduction to Timurid architecture.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Saudi Aramco World: John Feeney’s “Memories of Samarkand” and “The Drums of Tamerlane” Link: Saudi Aramco World: John Feeney’s “Memories of Samarkand” and “The Drums of Tamerlane” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this article titled “Memories of Samarkand,” as well as the section of the webpage titled “The Drums of Tamerlane,” for information about the city of Samarkand.  This articleoriginally appeared on pages 34-40 of the July/August 1984 print edition of Saudi Aramco World.  Click here to see the images associated with this article.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.1.1 The Bibi Khanum Mosque   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Bibi Khanum Mosque” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Bibi Khanum Mosque” (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 Bibi Khanum Mosque.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.4.1.2 Guri Amir   - Reading: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Gur-i Amir” Link: Archnet’s Digital Library: “Gur-i Amir” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this page as an introduction to Guri Amir Complex that includes the mausoleum of Timur.  When you are done, make sure to click on “View thumbnail images” at the top right-hand corner of the page to see images of this complex.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.5 Timurid Art   - Reading: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the Timurid Period (ca. 1370–1507)” Link: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Suzan Yalman’s “The Art of the Timurid Period (ca. 1370–1507)” (HTML) and Yumiko Kanada’s “The Mantiq al-Tayr of 1487” (HTML)

 Instructions: This reading covers the topics outlined in sections
4.5.1 and 4.5.2.  Please read these pages as an introduction to the
art of the Timurid period.  After you have read the text, click on
“View Slideshow” to see examples of art created during the Timurid
period.  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.

4.5.1 Timurid Metalwork and Jades   - Reading: BBC: A History of the World in 100 Objects: “Jade Dragon Cup” Link: BBC: A History of the World in 100 Objects: “Jade Dragon Cup” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this text about a Timurid jade cup before listening to its accompanying podcast on iTunes, linked below.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: BBC: A History of the World in 100 Objects: “Jade Dragon Cup” Link: iTunes U: BBC: A History of the World in 100 Objects: “Jade Dragon Cup” (iTunes U)
     
    Also available in:
    Adobe Flash
    Mp3 or HTML Transcript
     
    Instructions: Listen to Podcast 27 about the Timurid jade cup in the above reading.  The podcast is 14 minutes long.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

4.5.2 The Herat School of Painting   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation's "The Herat School of Painting" The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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