You are on page 1of 9

Application Number 156


Category A1
Marks %age 72.175
BankID 07-156

Different Art Periods:-

Roman Art:
Roman art is the sculpture, pottery, painting, and other art produced in Ancient Rome or
in territories under its rule from the founding of Rome in the 9th or 10th century BC,
through the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic, and Roman Empire periods, until the
decline of the Roman Empire by the 5th century AD

Greek Art:
Greece has a rich and varied artistic history, spanning some 5000 years and beginning in
the Cycladic and Minoan prehistorical civilization, giving birth to Western classical art in
the ancient period. The art of ancient Greece has exercised an enormous influence on the
culture of many countries from ancient times until the present, particularly in the areas of
sculpture and architecture.

Byzantine Art:
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Eastern
Roman Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. (The
Roman Empire during this period is conventionally known as the Byzantine Empire.)

Sassanian Art:
Sassanid art is the term commonly used to describe the various artistic products of the
Sassanid Empire of Persia from about the 3rd century until its fall of Ctesiphon in 640.
There art includes painting, sculpture, pottery, textile, ceramic, metalwork, literature and
pottery. Sassanian art had a distinctive influence on Byzantine architecture and Islamic
The term Islamic art not only describes the art created specifically in the service of the Muslim faith (for example, a mos
furnishings) but also characterizes the art and architecture historically produced in the lands ruled by Muslims, produce
or created by Muslim artists. As it is not only a religion but a way of life, Islam fostered the development of a distinctive
unique artistic language that is reflected in art and architecture throughout the Muslim world.

The lands newly conquered by the Muslims had their own preexisting artistic traditions and, initially at least, those artis
under Byzantine or Sasanian patronage continued to work in their own indigenous styles but for Muslim patrons. The fi
Islamic art therefore rely on earlier techniques, styles, and forms reflecting this blending of classical and Iranian decora
motifs. Even religious monuments erected under Umayyad patronage that have a clearly Islamic function and meaning
the Rock in Jerusalem, demonstrate this amalgam of Greco-Roman, Byzantine, and Sasanian elements. Only graduall
the Muslim faith and nascent Islamic state, did a uniquely Islamic art emerge. The rule of the Umayyad caliphate (661–
considered to be the formative period in Islamic art. One method of classifying Islamic art, used in the Islamic galleries
Museum, is according to the dynasty reigning when the work of art was produced. This type of periodization follows the
Islamic history, which is divided into and punctuated by the rule of various dynasties, beginning with the Umayyad and
that governed a vast and unified Islamic state, and concluding with the more regional, though powerful, dynasties such
Ottomans, and Mughals.

With its geographic spread and long history, Islamic art was inevitably subject to a wide range of regional and even nat
influences as well as changes within the various periods of its development. It is all the more remarkable then that, eve
circumstances, Islamic art has always retained its intrinsic quality and unique identity. Just as the religion of Islam emb
serves as a cohesive force among ethnically and culturally diverse peoples, the art produced by and for Muslim societie
identifying and unifying characteristics. Perhaps the most salient of these is the predilection for all-over surface decorat
components of Islamic ornament are calligraphy, vegetal patterns, geometric patterns, and figural representation.

Figural representation:
With the spread of Islam outward from the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century, the
figurative artistic traditions of the newly conquered lands profoundly influenced the development
of Islamic art. Ornamentation in Islamic art came to include figural representations in its
decorative vocabulary, drawn from a variety of sources. Although the often cited opposition in
Islam to the depiction of human and animal forms holds true for religious art and architecture, in
the secular sphere, such representations have flourished in nearly all Islamic cultures.

The Islamic resistance to the representation of living beings ultimately stems from the belief that
the creation of living forms is unique to God, and it is for this reason that the role of images and
image makers has been controversial. The strongest statements on the subject of figural
depiction are made in the Hadith (Traditions of the Prophet), where painters are challenged to
"breathe life" into their creations and threatened with punishment on the Day of Judgment. The
Qur’an is less specific but condemns idolatry and uses the Arabic term musawwir ("maker of
forms," or artist) as an epithet for God. Partially as a result of this religious sentiment, figures in
painting were often stylized and, in some cases, the destruction of figurative artworks occurred.
Iconoclasm was previously known in the Byzantine period and aniconicism was a feature of the
Judaic world, thus placing the Islamic objection to figurative representations within a larger
context. As ornament, however, figures were largely devoid of any larger significance and
perhaps therefore posed less challenge.

As with other forms of Islamic ornamentation, artists freely adapted and stylized basic human and
animal forms, giving rise to a great variety of figural-based designs. Figural motifs are found on
the surface decoration of objects or architecture, as part of the woven or applied patterns of
textiles, and, most rarely, in sculptural form. In some cases, decorative images are closely related
to the narrative painting tradition, where text illustrations provided sources for ornamental themes
and motifs. As for manuscript illustration, miniature paintings were integral parts of these works of
art as visual aids to the text, therefore no restrictions were imposed. A further category of
fantastic figures, from which ornamental patterns were generated, also existed. Some fantastic
motifs, such as harpies (female-headed birds) and griffins (winged felines), were drawn from pre-
Islamic mythological sources, whereas others were created through the visual manipulation of
figural forms by artists.

Container in the shape of a horse and rider, 12th–13th century

Composite body, underglaze-painted; H. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm), W. 3 in. (7.6 cm), D. 8 1/4 in. (21
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1966 (66.23)

This figurine represents the relatively rare sculptural tradition within Islamic art. Although the
function of this and other such Seljuq equestrian figures is not entirely known, they appear to
portray significant personages. Here the overall symbolism conveyed is that of a warrior or
hunter: the rider holds a cup, carries a short staff, and bears what appears to be a shield. The
small animal seated behind the rider may be a hunting cheetah, and the hollowness of the
object's upper section suggests a container-like function.

Tympanum, late 14th–early 15th century; Golden Horde

Daghestan region, Caucasus (probably Kubachi)
Carved stone with traces of paint; H. 28 3/4 in. (73 cm), W. 51 in
Rogers Fund, 1938 (38.96)

The vegetal decoration surrounding the central figure resembles that found on fourteenth- and fifteenth-century tom
the town of Kubachi, presently in the republic of Daghestan in the Caucasus. This attribution is supported by the "c
that covers the rider's chest, which became fashionable after the arrival of the Mongols in the area and was popula
fifteenth century. The horseman represents a traditional image of a Central Asian nomadic archer, symbolic of the M
of the Golden Horde (1227–1502). In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, between the Ilkhanid and the Timurid
dynasty ruled over a large area in Russia, including the province of Daghestan on the north shore of the Caspian S
horseman and his mount provide valuable information about costume and trappings in the Caucasus at this time. A
fitting short-sleeved tunic is worn over another garment. Tight-fitting high boots, a belt, and a hood reaching to the n
complete the costume. A leather pouch hangs from the belt, as does a quiver of typically Turkic type.

This tympanum was once assembled on the front wall of the so-called House of Ahmed and Ibrahim at Kubachi, an
center under the control of the Golden Horde, which extended from the Lower Volga to the Caucasus on the northw
shores of the Caspian Sea. It is not clear if the house was destroyed at the beginning of the twentieth century. The
this object decorated must have been of a secular nature, perhaps the country house of a prince of the Golden Hor

Dish, last quarter of 16th century; Ottoman

Iznik, Turkey
Composite body, painted and glazed; H. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm), Diam. 11 1/2 in. (28.5 cm)
Purchase, Richard S. Perkins Gift and Louis E. and Theresa S. Seley Purchase Fund for Islamic Art, 1979 (1979.41

The animals on this dish, some more recognizable than others, may derive from representations on Seljuq metalwo
central design is, in effect, a painted menagerie, an approach not often attempted by Iznik potters before around 15
group of animals pursue one another on the rim of the dish. The bold effect of the bright green ground is heightene
potter's decision to leave the cavetto blank, in essence providing breathing room for the composition.

Geometric patterns make up one of the three nonfigural types of decoration in Islamic art, which
also include calligraphy and vegetal patterns. Whether isolated or used in combination with
nonfigural ornamentation or figural representation, geometric patterns are popularly associated
with Islamic art, largely due to their aniconic quality. These abstract designs not only adorn the
surfaces of monumental Islamic architecture but also function as the major decorative element on
a vast array of objects of all types. While geometric ornamentation may have reached a pinnacle
in the Islamic world, the sources for both the shapes and the intricate patterns already existed in
late antiquity among the Greeks, Romans, and Sasanians in Iran. Islamic artists appropriated key
elements from the classical tradition, then complicated and elaborated upon them in order to
invent a new form of decoration that stressed the importance of unity and order. The significant
intellectual contributions of Islamic mathematicians, astronomers, and scientists were essential to
the creation of this unique new style.

Consisting of, or generated from, such simple forms as the circle and the square, geometric
patterns were combined, duplicated, interlaced, and arranged in intricate combinations, thus
becoming one of the most distinguishing features of Islamic art. However, these complex patterns
seem to embody a refusal to adhere strictly to the rules of geometry. As a matter of fact,
geometric ornamentation in Islamic art suggests a remarkable amount of freedom; in its repetition
and complexity, it offers the possibility of infinite growth and can accommodate the incorporation
of other types of ornamentation as well. In terms of their abstractness, repetitive motifs, and
symmetry, geometric patterns have much in common with the so-called arabesque style seen in
many vegetal designs. Calligraphic ornamentation also appears in conjunction with geometric

The four basic shapes, or "repeat units," from which the more complicated patterns are
constructed are: circles and interlaced circles; squares or four-sided polygons; the ubiquitous star
pattern, ultimately derived from squares and triangles inscribed in a circle; and multisided
polygons. It is clear, however, that the complex patterns found on many objects include a number
of different shapes and arrangements, allowing them to fit into more than one category.

Panel, Marquetry, second half of 8th century; cAbbasid

Fig wood and bone; H. 18 3/4 in. (47.6 cm), W. 76 1/2 in. (194.3 cm)
Samuel D. Lee Fund, 1937 (37.103)

Possibly from the side of a cenotaph (a monument erected in honor of a person whose remains are elsewhere), thi
fig-wood panel inlaid with bone incorporates decorative elements from both the late antique and Sasanian tradition
geometric motifs seem to derive directly from the Roman mosaic range, and the carved bone plaques in the centra
vine scrolls with a purely classical lineage. The winglike designs in the arch spandrels and the central square are o
derivation and were incorporated into the Islamic vocabulary as early as the late seventh century.

Basin, early 14th century

Western Iran
Brass inlaid with silver and gold, champlevé engraving; H. 5 1/8 in. (13 cm), Diam. 20 1/2 in. (51.1 cm)
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891 (91.1.521)
Large basins for ablution that have a crenellated rim are based on eastern Iranian prototypes of the late twelfth and
thirteenth centuries. The best examples, with lavishly inlaid and detailed decoration such as those shown here, see
been limited to the Ilkhanid period. Figural scenes illustrating courtly life under the Ilkhanids, indicated by their Mon
headdresses, are common on these basins. Typically, the interior is lavishly ornamented whereas the exterior walls
simply engraved, thus demonstrating that the decoration was enjoyed mostly when these basins were in use.

Pair of doors, ca. 1325–1330; Mamluk

Egypt (Cairo)
Wood inlaid with carved ivory panels; 65 x 30 1/2 in. (165.1 x 77.5 cm)
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891 (91.1.2064)

The furnishings of Cairo's mosques, especially during the Mamluk period, were decorated with
intricately constructed polygons and strapwork. Most often, the polygons were of wood, either
carved or inlaid with ivory or colored woods. These doors exhibit a great variety of patterns, most
of which are also found in other media, such as stone carvings, marble mosaics, and stucco
window grilles. The accurate cutting required to make such patterned objects is remarkable, since
every piece affects the whole. Comparative material in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo,
suggests that these doors come from the minbar (pulpit) of the mosque of the emir Sayf al-Din
Qawsun (d. 1342), the powerful Cupbearer of Sultan al-Nasir ibn Qala’un.

Plate, 14th century; Mamluk

Syria or Egypt
Glass, free-blown, tooled, enameled, and gilded; Diam. 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891 (91.1.1533)

The spectacular enameled objects produced by Egyptian and Syrian glassmakers in the Ayyubid and Mamluk perio
especially from the mid-thirteenth to the late fourteenth century, are unsurpassed. Flat dishes, such as this fourteen
example, were rather uncommon. Its geometric decoration unfolds on two levels, the most immediate represented
combination of the five tangential circles, drawn in a continuous looping line, that dominate the composition. The se
subtler level is found within the four outer circles, where a complex star pattern was created. The pleasant chromat
blue, white, and red enamels, and gilding emphasizes the basic elements of both the geometric and the vegetal mo
complex design.

Jali screen (one of a pair), second half of 16th century; Mughal

Probably from Fatehpur Sikri, India
Carved red sandstone; H. 73 1/4 in. (186 cm), W. 51 3/16 in. (130 cm), Th. 3 9/16 in. (9 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1993 (1993.67.2)

Jalis (pierced screens) were used extensively in Indian architecture as windows, room dividers,
and railings around thrones, platforms, terraces, and balconies. Installed in outer walls, they were
ideal for cutting down glare while permitting air to circulate. During the day, the reflection of their
patterns moving across the floor would double the pleasure of their intricate geometry. The
architecture and weathering on one side suggest that this jali was probably part of a series of
windows set in an outside wall.

Calligraphy is the most highly regarded and most fundamental element of Islamic art. It is
significant that the Qur’an, the book of God's revelations to the Prophet Muhammad, was
transmitted in Arabic, and that inherent within the Arabic script is the potential for developing a
variety of ornamental forms. The employment of calligraphy as ornament had a definite aesthetic
appeal but often also included an underlying talismanic component. While most works of art had
legible inscriptions, not all Muslims would have been able to read them. One should always keep
in mind, however, that calligraphy is principally a means to transmit a text, albeit in a decorative

Objects from different periods and regions vary in the use of calligraphy in their overall design,
demonstrating the creative possibilities of calligraphy as ornament. In some cases, calligraphy is
the dominant element in the decoration. In these examples, the artist exploits the inherent
possibilities of the Arabic script to create writing as ornament. An entire word can give the
impression of random brushstrokes, or a single letter can develop into a decorative knot. In other
cases, highly esteemed calligraphic works on paper are themselves ornamented and enhanced
by their decorative frames or backgrounds. Calligraphy can also become part of an overall
ornamental program, clearly separated from the rest of the decoration. In some examples,
calligraphy can be combined with vegetal scrolls on the same surface though often on different
levels, creating an interplay of decorative elements.

Bowl, 10th century

Samarqand (Uzbekistan) or Nishapur (Iran)
Earthenware, red body, white engobe, underglaze-painted; H. 7 in. (17.8 cm), Diam. 18 in. (45.7 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1965 (65.106.2)

Inscriptions figure prominently in the decoration of objects and buildings throughout the history of Islamic art. Yet it
bowls, such as this one, that they were used with an unequalled purity and power, both as calligraphy and to enhan
they decorate. This bowl is an unusually large, especially fine example of its kind.

Mirror, 12th century

Cast bronze; Diam. 7 5/8 in. (19.3 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1942 (42.136)

This circular mirror without handle, originally held by means of a ribbon passed through the pierced knob on its bac
an interesting example of mixed influences. Its shape follows Chinese models, while the well-wishing kufic inscriptio
running animals, and the vegetal scroll motif covering the entire surface are purely Islamic.
Mosque lamp, ca. 1285; Mamluk
Egypt (Cairo)
Brownish colorless glass, free-blown, applied, enameled, gilded, and stained; tooled on the pontil;
red, blue, white, green, yellow, and black enamels; gold; and orange-yellow stain; H. 10 3/8 in.
(26.2 cm), Max. Diam. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm)
Inscription (in thuluth script, on neck [with bunqud-dar for bunduqdar] and body): "That which was
made for the tomb of the noble, the elevated, / the cAla'i, the Keeper of the Bow, / may Allah
sanctify his soul."
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.985)

This lamp is the earliest datable example of its kind known to have hung in an interior that still
survives. The inscription states that it was made for the tomb of the Mamluk emir Aydakin al-cAla'i
al-Bunduqdar (died 1285) in Cairo. The emblem of the Keeper of the Bow, a pair of confronted
bows against a red background, appears nine times on this lamp. A rare mistake by the
calligrapher is evident on the neck, where the word bunduqdar (Keeper of the Bow) has been
misspelled as a meaningless word, bunqud-dar.

Sandstone roundel, early 17th century

India, probably Bijapur
Sandstone; Diam. 18 1/2 in. (47 cm)
Edward Pearce Casey Fund, 1985 (1985.240.1)

India is famous for its stonework, and a Persian source tells us that a calligrapher from Iran came to the Deccan in
fifteenth century, penned a large inscription for a mausoleum, "and the Telegu craftsmen, with miracle-working fing
the complicated patterns in stone." This sandstone roundel from the Deccan, which probably dates to the early sev
century, clearly shows the skill of both the calligrapher and the stonecutter. The Arabic invocation Yacaziz, "Oh Mig
the ninety-nine Most Beautiful Names of God), is repeated eight times in mirrored thuluth script. An eight-pointed st
from the shafts of the letter a, while the z's of caziz, mirrored and knotted, form a heart-shaped ornament. The callig
reminiscent of the inscriptions in the Ibrahim Rauza, the mausoleum of Sultan Ibrahim cAdil Shah (r. 1580–1627) in
number eight, aside from its geometrical qualities, points also to eternal bliss and the eight paradises of which the I
tradition speaks.

Vegetal patterns employed alone or in combination with the other major types of ornament—
calligraphy, geometric pattern, and figural representation—adorn a vast number of buildings,
manuscripts, objects, and textiles, produced throughout the Islamic world. Unlike calligraphy,
whose increasingly popular use as ornament in the early Islamic Arab lands represented a new
development, vegetal patterns and the motifs they incorporate were drawn from existing traditions
of Byzantine culture in the eastern Mediterranean and Sasanian Iran.

The early centuries of the Islamic era saw the initial adoption of seminaturalistic pre-Islamic motifs
and patterns, followed by widespread and highly diverse experimentation adapting these forms to
suit the aesthetic interests and tastes of the new Muslim patrons. It was not until the medieval
period (tenth–twelfth centuries) that a highly abstract and fully developed Islamic style emerged,
featuring that most original and ubiquitous pattern often known as "arabesque." This term was
coined in the early nineteenth century following Napoleon's famed expedition in Egypt, which
contributed so much to the phenomenon of Orientalism in Europe and later in the United States.
Arabesque simply means "in the Arab fashion" in French, and few scholars of Islamic art use it

With the Mongol invasion of western Asia in the thirteenth century and the establishment of a
Mongol court in Iran in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, numerous Chinese motifs and
patterns were adopted, though sometimes in markedly revised form. This period saw many
transformations in the decorative language of Islamic art that would endure for centuries. In
sixteenth-century Europe, first in Italy and then in the north, Islamic-style vegetal patterns were
developed. In the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and
Mughals (present-day Turkey, Iran, and India), complicated versions of established patterns were
utilized, sometimes incorporating a new interest in naturalistic-looking flowers or blossoms. With
the exception of the garden and its usual reference to paradise, vegetal motifs and patterns in
Islamic art are largely devoid of symbolic meaning.

Capital, 10th century

Spain, probably Madinat al-Zahra’
Carved marble; H. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm), Gr. W. 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm)
Theodore D. Davis collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1930 (30.95.134)

This capital probably came from the splendid Umayyad royal residence city of Madinat al-Zahra’, near Córdoba, Sp
was founded in 936. The classical tradition so important in Umayyad Syrian art is evident here. This is not surprisin
the Syrian roots of this caliphal house (711–1031), which arose in Spain after the Umayyad dynasty was replaced a
extinguished by the new cAbbasid rulers centered in Baghdad.

Two beads, 11th century; Fatimid

Gold, fabricated from wire and strips of sheet, decorated with granulation; L. 2 in. (5.1 cm), Max
Diam. 1 in. (2.5 cm); Diam. 3/4 in. (1.9 cm)
Purchase, Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah Gift, in memory of Richard Ettinghausen,
1980 (1980.456)
Purchase, Mobil Foundation Inc. Gift, 1980 (1980.457)

These beads feature superb patterns of scrolling vines whose bifurcations elegantly extend the
design to fit the required space. The patterns recall those of the beveled style of the ninth century,
although these possess clearer lines, perhaps owing to the medium.

Qur’an stand, A.H. Dhu al-Hijja 761/October–November 1360 A.D.

Made by Hasan ibn Sulaiman al-Isfahani
Probably Iran or perhaps Central Asia
Wood, carved and inlaid; 16 1/8 x 51 1/4 in. (41 x 130.2 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1910 (10.218)

This impressive Qur’an stand, or rahla, one the most accomplished works in wood to survive from
Iran, bears the signature of its carver, who was probably from Isfahan in central Iran. The
splendid carved decoration, which includes the motif of a flowered bush within a niche
surrounded by calligraphic blessings upon the Prophet and the Twelve Imams, reveals a Shici
association. Other inscriptions include the date as well as the name of the patron who ordered
this stand for a madrasa (theological school), but they do not give the name of the school or the
city where it was located.