ART 140 Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Mesopotamia, Aisle, Amu Darya

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17 Sep 2016
Samantha Pastron
Early Islamic Art
Gardner 122-128
Early Islamic Art
Fertile Crescent of ancient mesopotamia was Muslim world’s political and cultural center.
Caliphs of Damascus (capital of modern Syria) and Baghdad appointed governors to rule the
large territories whom ended up gaining relative independence by setting up dynasties.
* Islam took a lot of its teaching from Judaism and Christianity
grand scale buildings. First Islamic buildings (secular & religious) are in Middle East
architects and architecture borrowed and transformed design, construction, and ornamentation
principles applied in Byzantium and Middle East
Dome of The Rock
638 Muslims took Jerusalem from Byzantines and Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik erected
monumental shrine in tribute to triumph of Islam. Dome of the Rock marked coming of new
religion. Place where Adam was buried and Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac. Rises from
platform, Noble Enclosure, where Hebrew Temple of Solomon stood until 70. Rock is spot
which Muhammad journeyed to heaven and then returned to his home in Mecca.
Dome of the Rock is a domed octagon (resembled San Vitale in Ravenna), inspired by
Constantine's Church of the Holy Sepulchre - a domed rotunda
Great Mosque, Damascus
synthesizes elements of from other cultures into a novel architectural unitu with Islamic elements
of mihrab,mihrab some, minbar and minaret
· 661 Umayyads transfer capital from Mecca to Damascus
· Caliph al-Walid built new mosque for expanding Muslim population
· Used Roman precinct walls as foundation of construction
· Stone blocks, columns and capitals salvaged from earlier structures
· Arcades (roman) frame courtyard
· Minarets; modifications of preexisting roman square towers
· Grand prayer hall faces Mecca
· Main entrance: façade (facing courtyard like a roman forum temple) with pediment and
arches (roman and byzantine models)
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