This course serves as an introduction to the pre-modern Islamic artistic traditions of the Mediterranean, Near East, and Central and South Asia.
This course is organized around the major dynasties under which Islamic art and architecture were produced.
- The first section surveys core Islamic beliefs, the basic characteristics of Islamic art and architecture, and art and architecture created under the patronage of the Umayyads (632-750) and the Muslim rulers of Spain,
- The second section focuses on the artistic and architectural innovations of the Abbasids (738-1250) and Seljuks (c.1040-1157), as well as the regional rulers of Anatolia and the Maghreb,
- The third section looks at the art and architecture of three successive Islamic dynasties based in Egypt: the Fatimids (909-1171), Ayyubids (1171-1250), and Mamluks (1250-1517),
- The fourth section examines the art and architecture of the Ilkhanid (1256-1353) and Timurid (c. 1370-1507) dynasties in Iran and Central Asia,
- The final section presents the art and architecture of three later Islamic Empires: the Safavids (1501-1722), Ottomans (ca. 1299–1922), and Mughals (1526-1858).
After completing this course, the student will be familiar with the major tenets of Islam, general Islamic history, the relationship of both to major developments in Islamic art and architecture, and the exchange of artistic and architectural forms throughout the larger Islamic, Mediterranean, Asian, and African worlds.
The course includes group projects that connect some course contents to to the tangible artistic heritage in the architecture of Moroccan monuments and traditional Moroccan arts.
On completion of this course the students will be able to:
- be familiar with general Islamic history,
- identify major developments in Islamic art and architecture,
- connect some course contents to the tangible artistic heritage of Morocco.