Islamic influences on Western art

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Islamicate pointed arches and Byzantine mosaics complement each other within the Palatine Chapel, Sicily. Chapelle Palatine.jpg
Islamicate pointed arches and Byzantine mosaics complement each other within the Palatine Chapel, Sicily.
The Romanesque portal at Moissac--see text. Detail of the tympanum here Moissac.2.jpg
The Romanesque portal at Moissac—see text. Detail of the tympanum here

Islamic influences on Western art refers to the stylistic and formal influence of Islamic art, defined as the artistic production of the territories ruled by Muslims from the 7th century onward, on European Christian art. Western European Christians interacted with Muslims in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East and formed a relationship based on shared ideas and artistic methods. [1] Islamic art includes a wide variety of media including calligraphy, illustrated manuscripts, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, and glass, and because the Islamic world encompassed people of diverse religious backgrounds, arstists and craftsmen were not always Muslim, and came from a wide variety of different backgrounds. Glass production, for example, remained a Jewish speciality throughout the period. Christian art in Islamic lands, such as that produced in Coptic Egypt or by Armenian communities in Iran, continued to develop under Islamic rulers.


Islamic decorative arts were highly valued imports to Europe throughout the Middle Ages. In the early period, textiles were especially important, due to the labor-intensive nature of their production. These textiles originating in the Islamic world were frequently used for church vestments, shrouds, hangings and clothing for the elite. Islamic pottery of everyday quality was still preferred to European wares. [2]

In the early centuries of Islam, the most important points of contact between the Latin West and the Islamic world from an artistic point of view were Southern Italy, Sicily, and the Iberian peninsula, which both held significant Muslim populations. Later the Italian maritime republics were important in trading artworks. In the Crusades, Islamic art seems to have had relatively little influence even on the Crusader art of the Crusader kingdoms, though it may have stimulated the desire for Islamic imports among Crusaders returning to Europe. Islamic architecture, however, appeared to influence the designs of Templar churches within the Middle East and other cathedrals within Europe upon the return of Crusaders in the 12th and 13th century. [3]

Numerous techniques from Islamic art formed the basis of art in the Norman-Arab-Byzantine culture of Norman Sicily, much of which used Muslim artists and craftsmen working in the style of their own tradition. Techniques included inlays in mosaics or metals, often used for architectural decoration, porphyry or ivory carving to create sculptures or containers, and bronze foundries. [4] In Iberia the Mozarabic art and architecture of the Christian population living under Muslim rule remained very Christian in most ways, but showed Islamic influences in other respects; much what was described as this is now called Repoblación art and architecture. During the late centuries of the Reconquista Christian craftsmen started using Islamic artistic elements in their buildings, as a result the Mudéjar style was developed.

Middle Ages

Map showing the main trade routes of late medieval Europe. Late Medieval Trade Routes.jpg
Map showing the main trade routes of late medieval Europe.

Islamic art was widely imported and admired by European elites during the Middle Ages. [5] There was an early formative stage from 600-900 and the development of regional styles from 900 onwards. Early Islamic art used mosaic artists and sculptors trained in the Byzantine and Coptic traditions. [6] Instead of wall-paintings, Islamic art used painted tiles, from as early as 862-3 (at the Great Mosque of Kairouan in modern Tunisia), which also spread to Europe. [7] According to John Ruskin, the Doge's Palace in Venice contains "three elements in exactly equal proportions — the Roman, the Lombard, and Arab. It is the central building of the world. ... the history of Gothic architecture is the history of the refinement and spiritualization of Northern work under its influence". [8]

Gold Maravedi issued by Alfonso VIII of Castile in imitation of the Almoravid dinar, 1191. The Arabic text makes Christian professions. Alfonso VIII maravedi 701240.jpg
Gold Maravedí issued by Alfonso VIII of Castile in imitation of the Almoravid dinar, 1191. The Arabic text makes Christian professions.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Islamic rulers controlled at various points parts of Southern Italy, the island of Sicily, and most of modern Spain and Portugal, as well as the Balkans, all of which retained large Christian populations. The Christian Crusaders also held territory in regions of the Islamic world, and ruled over some Muslim populations. Crusader art is mainly a hybrid of Catholic and Byzantine styles, showing little Islamic influence; however, the Mozarabic art of Christians in Al Andalus seems to show considerable influence from Islamic art. Islamic influence can also be traced in Romanesque and Gothic art in northern European art. For example, in the Romanesque portal at Moissac in southern France, the scalloped edges to the doorway and the circular decorations on the lintel above, have parallels in Iberian Islamic art. The depiction of Christ in Majesty surrounded by musicians, which was to become a common feature of Western heavenly scenes, may derive from courtly images of Islamic rulers. [11] Calligraphy, ornament, and the decorative arts generally were more important than in the West. [12]

The Hispano-Moresque pottery wares of Spain were first produced in Al-Andalus, but Muslim potters then seem to have emigrated to the area of Christian Valencia. Here they produced work that was exported to Christian elites across Europe; [13] other types of Islamic luxury goods, notably silk textiles and carpets, came from the generally wealthier [14] eastern Islamic world itself (the Islamic conduits to Europe west of the Nile were, however, not wealthier), [15] with many passing through Venice. [16] However, for the most part luxury products of the court culture such as silks, ivory, precious stones and jewels were imported to Europe only in an unfinished form and manufactured into the end product labelled as "eastern" by local medieval artisans. [17] They were free from depictions of religious scenes and normally decorated with ornament, which made them easy to accept in the West, [18] indeed by the late Middle Ages there was a fashion for pseudo-Kufic imitations of Arabic script used decoratively in Western art.

Decorative arts

Hispano-Moresque dish, approx 32cm diameter, with Christian monogram "IHS", decorated in cobalt blue and gold lustre, Valencia, c.1430-1500. Hispanomoresque.JPG
Hispano-Moresque dish, approx 32cm diameter, with Christian monogram "IHS", decorated in cobalt blue and gold lustre, Valencia, c.1430-1500.

Until the end of the Middle Ages, many European produced goods could not match the quality of objects originating from areas in the Islamic world or the Byzantine Empire. Because of this, a wide variety of portable objects from various decorative arts were imported from the Islamic world into Europe during the Middle Ages, mostly through Italy, and above all Venice. [19] Venetians visited cities like Damascus, Cairo, and Aleppo throughout the Middle Ages. When they would visit these Muslim centers, they would bring back new ideas for art and architecture. The city of Venice was built with a Christian population in mind, but implemented many classic Islamic elements, and the merchant-city reputation of Venice helped solidify the blend of Islamic and Christian cultures at the time. [20] In many areas European-made goods could not match the quality of Islamic or Byzantine work until near the end of the Middle Ages. Luxury textiles were widely used for clothing and hangings and also, fortunately for art history, also often as shrouds for the burials of important figures, which is how most surviving examples were preserved. In this area Byzantine silk was influenced by Sassanian textiles, and Islamic silk by both, so that is hard to say which culture's textiles had the greatest influence on the Cloth of St Gereon, a large tapestry which is the earliest and most important European imitation of Eastern work. European, especially Italian, cloth gradually caught up with the quality of Eastern imports, and adopted many elements of their designs.

Byzantine pottery was not produced in high-quality types, as the Byzantine elite used silver instead. Islam has many hadithic injunctions against eating off precious metal, and so developed many varieties of fine pottery for the elite, often influenced by the Chinese porcelain wares which had the highest status among the Islamic elites themselves — the Islamic only produced porcelain in the modern period. Much Islamic pottery was imported into Europe, dishes ("bacini") even in Islamic Al-Andalus in the 13th century, in Granada and Málaga, where much of the production was already exported to Christian countries. Many of the potters migrated to the area of Valencia, long reconquered by the Christians, and production here outstripped that of Al-Andalus. Styles of decoration gradually became more influenced by Europe, and by the 15th century the Italians were also producing lustrewares, sometimes using Islamic shapes like the albarello. [21] Metalwork forms like the zoomorphic jugs called aquamanile and the bronze mortar were also introduced from the Islamic world. [22]

Mudéjar art in Spain

Mudéjar art is a style influenced by Islamic art that developed from the 12th century until the 16th century in the Iberia's Christian kingdoms. It is the consequence of the convivencia between the Muslim, Christian and Jewish populations in medieval Spain. The elaborate decoration typical of Mudéjar style fed into the development of the later Plateresque style in Spanish architecture, combining with late Gothic and Early Renaissance elements.


Master Alpais' ciborium, circa 1200 with rim engraved with Arabic script, Limoges, France, 1215-30. Louvre Museum MRR 98. Limoges enamel ciborium pseudo Kufic circa 1200.jpg
Master Alpais' ciborium, circa 1200 with rim engraved with Arabic script, Limoges, France, 1215-30. Louvre Museum MRR 98.

The Arabic Kufic script was often imitated in the West during the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance, to produce what is known as pseudo-Kufic: "Imitations of Arabic in European art are often described as pseudo-Kufic, borrowing the term for an Arabic script that emphasizes straight and angular strokes, and is most commonly used in Islamic architectural decoration". [23] Numerous cases of pseudo-Kufic are known in European religious art from around the 10th to the 15th century. Pseudo-Kufic would be used as writing or as decorative elements in textiles, religious halos or frames. Many are visible in the paintings of Giotto. [23]

Examples are known of the incorporation of Kufic script such as a 13th French Master Alpais' ciborium at the Louvre Museum. [N 1] [24]


Arab-Norman culture in Sicily

An example of this blended art style can be seen in the Mantle of Roger II. Designed in Norman Sicily, it went on to be the coronation garb for the Holy Roman Empire. The mantle depicts  lions overcoming camels, symbolic imagery to allude to the Norman conquering of Arab territory. This symbol also draws from Islamic cultures' usage of the lion as a symbol of victory at the time, though it flips the context, as it is being used to depict the Norman victory over the Arabs. [25] The inscription on the mantle is also written in Arabic, referencing the culture and language of the lands they overthrew.

The Normans of Sicily were located at a crossroads between European Christian cultures, and the Islamic worlds of Spain, North Africa, Western Asia. Though they were a Christian culture, the lands they ruled over had been previously occupied by Arab Islamic rule until the Normans overtook it in 1060, [25] and their art style reflects this previous Arab leadership and existence at a middle ground in the Medieval world. [25]

Christian buildings such as the Cappella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily, incorporated Islamic elements, probably usually created by local Muslim craftsmen working in their own traditions. The ceiling at the Cappella, with its wooden vault arches and gilded figurines, has close parallels with Islamic buildings in Fez and Fustat, and reflect the Muqarnas (stalactite) technique of emphasizing three-dimensional elements [26]

The diaphragm arch, Late Antique in origin, was widely used in Islamic architecture, and may have spread from Spain to France. [27]

Islamic Influence on Gothic Architecture

The Liwan or Sanctuary of the Mosque of Ibn-Tuloon (1878) The Liwan or Sanctuary of the Mosque of Ibn-Tuloon (1878) - TIMEA.jpg
The Liwan or Sanctuary of the Mosque of Ibn-Tuloon (1878)

Western scholars of the 1819th century, who generally preferred Classical art characterized Gothic art as "disorder[ed]”, causing several to draw similarities between Gothic and Islamic architecture. The theory that the Gothic architectural style was influenced by Islamic architecture was made widely known by Sir Christopher Wren in his Parentalia (1750). Wren argued that the pointed arch and ribbed-vaulting characteristics of the Gothic style were borrowed from the Saracens, a derogatory term referring to Muslims, typically Arab Muslims, therefore Gothic art should be called the “Saracen style” of architecture. [28] William Hamilton commented on the Seljuks monuments in Konya: "The more I saw of this peculiar style, the more I became convinced that the Gothic was derived from it, with a certain mixture of Byzantine (...) the origin of this Gotho-Saracenic style may be traced to the manners and habits of the Saracens" [N 3] [29]

The 8th century Umayyad Caliphate within the Iberian peninsula was credited with introducing many elements adopted into Gothic architecture within Spain, and Christian Crusaders returning home to Europe in the 12th and 13th century carried Islamic architectural influences with them into France and later England. [3] Several attributes of Gothic architecture have been attributed to being borrowed from Islamic styles. The 18th-century English historian Thomas Warton summarized:

"The marks which constitute the character of Gothic or Saracenical architecture, are, its numerous and prominent buttresses, its lofty spires and pinnacles, its large and ramified windows, its ornamental niches or canopies, its sculptured saints, the delicate lace-work of its fretted roofs, and the profusion of ornaments lavished indiscriminately over the whole building: but its peculiar distinguishing characteristics are, the small cluttered pillars and pointed arches, formed by the segments of two interfering circles"

Thomas Warton Essays on Gothic architecture [N 4]

When Sir. Christopher Wren constructed St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, he admitted the use of “Saracen vaulting,” referring to the ribbed-vaulting typical of Islamic mosques, such as in the Great Mosque of Cordoba. [3]

Wren’s attribution of the Gothic’s style’s pointed arch to Islamic architecture was corroborated by 21st century scholar Diana Darke, who in Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe explains that the pointed arch first  appeared in the 7th century Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, which was built by the Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik. [3] Furthemore, the trefoil arch, which was adopted by Gothic architects to symbolize the Holy Trinity, first appeared within Umayyad shrines and palaces before it was seen in European architecture. [3] Darke’s argument that Western Gothic art was borrowed directly from Islamic art has been criticized for ignoring cross-cultural influences in Islamic art itself, which make it difficult to determine which architectural elements were created by whom in a strictly linear evaluation. [3]

Pointed arch

The Romanesque exterior of Monreale Cathedral, Sicily, shows the influence of Islamic architecture. Monreale-bjs-17.jpg
The Romanesque exterior of Monreale Cathedral, Sicily, shows the influence of Islamic architecture.

The pointed arch originated in the Byzantine and Sassanian empires, where it mostly appears in early churches in Syria. The Byzantine Karamagara Bridge has curved elliptical arches rising to a pointed keystone. [30] The priority of the Byzantines in its use is also evidenced by slightly pointed examples in Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, and the Hagia Irene, Constantinople. [30] The pointed arch was subsequently adopted and widely used by Muslim architects, becoming the characteristic arch of Islamic architecture. [30] According to Bony, it has spread from Islamic lands, possibly through Sicily, then under Islamic rule, and from there to Amalfi in Italy, before the end of the 11th century. [31] [32] The pointed arch reduced architectural thrust by about 20% and therefore had practical advantages over the semi-circular Romanesque arch for the building of large structures. [31]

The pointed arch as a defining characteristic of Gothic architecture appears to have been introduced from the Islamic, in some areas, but to have evolved as a structural solution in late Romanesque, both in England at Durham Cathedral and in the Burgundian Romanesque and Cistercian architecture of France. [33]

Templar churches

Seal of the Knights Templar featuring a domed building, whether from a dome from Al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock or the aedicula of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre Seal of Templars.jpg
Seal of the Knights Templar featuring a domed building, whether from a dome from Al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock or the aedicula of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

In 1119, the Knights Templar received as headquarters part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, considered by the crusaders the Temple of Solomon, from which the order took its common name. Around a decade later, the royal palace moved their headquarters to near the Temple of David, and the Knights Templar took over all of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.  Subsequently, the Templar order built secular and religious structures within the mosque’s area, like multiple cloisters, shrines, and a church.  It's likely that the Templars used the Dome of the Rock, also known as al-Haram al-Sharif, as a standard to reach in terms of architectural beauty. [34] The typical round churches built by the knights across Western Europe, such as the London Temple Church, may have been influenced by the shape of Al-Aqsa or the Dome of the Rock (known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif), though it's possible they are also referencing the nearby rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre [35] Both Al-Aqsa and the Holy Sepulchre likely draw influence from Roman mausolea such as the Mausoleum of Augustus, round churches of early Christianity such as Santa Costanza in Rome, and Byzantine interpretations such as Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna.

Islamic elements in Renaissance art

Pseudo-Kufic script in the Virgin Mary's halo, detail of Adoration of the Magi (1423) by Gentile da Fabriano. The script is further divided by rosettes like those on Mamluk dishes. Gentile da Fabriano 015.jpg
Pseudo-Kufic script in the Virgin Mary's halo, detail of Adoration of the Magi (1423) by Gentile da Fabriano. The script is further divided by rosettes like those on Mamluk dishes.


Pseudo-Kufic is a decorative motif that resembles Kufic script and occurs in many Italian Renaissance paintings. The exact reason for the incorporation of pseudo-Kufic in early Renaissance works is unclear. It seems that Westerners mistakenly associated 13th14th-century Middle-Eastern scripts as being identical with the scripts current during Jesus's time, and thus found natural to represent early Christians in association with them: [37] "In Renaissance art, pseudo-Kufic script was used to decorate the costumes of Old Testament heroes like David". [38] Mack states another hypothesis:

Perhaps they marked the imagery of a universal faith, an artistic intention consistent with the Church's contemporary international program. [39]

Middle Eastern Carpets

Verrocchio's Madonna with Saint John the Baptist and Donatus 1475-1483 with small-pattern Holbein Islamic carpet at her feet. Andrea del verrocchio e lorenzo di credi, madonna di piazza, 1475-86 ca. (pistoia, duomo) 02.jpg
Verrocchio's Madonna with Saint John the Baptist and Donatus 1475-1483 with small-pattern Holbein Islamic carpet at her feet.

Carpets of Middle-Eastern origin, either from the Ottoman Empire, the Levant or the Mamluk state of Egypt or Northern Africa, were used as important decorative features in paintings from the 13th century onwards, and especially in religious painting, starting from the Medieval period and continuing into the Renaissance period. [40]

Such carpets were often integrated into Christian imagery as symbols of luxury and status of Middle-Eastern origin, and together with Pseudo-Kufic script offer an interesting example of the integration of Eastern elements into European painting. [40]

Anatolian rugs were used in Transylvania as decoration in Evangelical churches. [41]

Islamic costumes

15th-century Mamluks depicted in The Arrest of St. Mark from the Synagogue, Giovanni di Niccolo Mansueti, 1499. Giovanni di Niccolo Mansueti 001.jpg
15th-century Mamluks depicted in The Arrest of St. Mark from the Synagogue, Giovanni di Niccolò Mansueti, 1499.

Islamic individuals and costumes often provided the contextual backdrop to describe an evangelical scene. This was particularly visible in a set of Venetian paintings in which contemporary Syrian, Palestinian, Egyptian and especially Mamluk personages are employed anachronistically in paintings describing Biblical situations. [42] An example in point is the 15th century The Arrest of St. Mark from the Synagogue by Giovanni di Niccolò Mansueti which accurately describes contemporary (15th century) Alexandrian Mamluks arresting Saint Mark in an historic scene of the 1st century CE. [42] Another case is Gentile Bellini's Saint Mark Preaching in Alexandria . [43]


A Western style of ornament based on the Islamic arabesque developed, beginning in late 15th century Venice; it has been called either moresque or western arabesque (a term with a complicated history). It has been used in a great variety of the decorative arts but has been especially long-lived in book design and bookbinding, where small motifs in this style have continued to be used by conservative book designers up to the present day. It is seen in gold tooling on covers, borders for illustrations, and printer's ornaments for decorating empty spaces on the page. In this field the technique of gold tooling had also arrived in the 15th century from the Islamic world, and indeed much of the leather itself was imported from there. [44]

Like other Renaissance ornament styles it was disseminated by ornament prints which were bought as patterns by craftsmen in a variety of trades. Peter Furhring, a leading specialist in the history of ornament, says that:

The ornament known as moresque in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (but now more commonly called arabesque) is characterized by bifurcated scrolls composed of branches forming interlaced foliage patterns. These basic motifs gave rise to numerous variants, for example, where the branches, generally of a linear character, were turned into straps or bands. ... It is characteristic of the moresque, which is essentially a surface ornament, that it is impossible to locate the pattern's beginning or end. ... Originating in the Middle East, they were introduced to continental Europe via Italy and Spain ... Italian examples of this ornament, which was often used for bookbindings and embroidery, are known from as early as the late fifteenth century. [45]

Elaborate book bindings with Islamic designs can be seen in religious paintings. [46] In Andrea Mantegna's Saint John the Baptist and Zeno , Saint John and Zeno hold exquisite books with covers displaying Mamluk-style center-pieces, of a type also used in contemporary Italian book-binding. [47]

Influence in North America

Moorish architecture appeared in the Americas as early as the arrival of the Spanish led by Christopher Columbus in 1492. Many of the settlers from Spain were craftsmen and builders that converted to Christianity from Islam, bringing "domes, eight-pointed stars, quatrefoil elements, ironwork, courtyard fountains, balconies, towers, and colorful tiles" as noted by historian Phil Pasquini. [48] The oldest building in the United States of America that was influenced by Islamic architecture is the Alamo. One of five missions in the area, it was supposed to include a dome and tower as per Moorish design, but was left in ruins after the battle of the Alamo in 1836. [48]

21st Century

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Islamic art and architecture has seen a decline in popularity in the United States. There are a few popular Islamic influenced tourist attractions in the United States, such as the Morocco pavilion in Disney's Epcot, the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine, California, and the Islamic-themed city of Opa-Locka, Florida. [48]

See also

Notes and references

Explanatory notes and item notices

  1. Muriel Barbier. "Master Alpais' ciborium – Master G. ALPAIS – Decorative Arts". Louvre museum website. Archived from the original on 2011-06-15.
  2. Ebers, Georg. "Egypt: Descriptive, Historical, and Picturesque." Volume 1. Cassell & Company, Limited: New York, 1878. p 213
  3. William J. Hamilton (1842) Researches in Asia Minor, Pontus and Armenia p.206
  4. Thomas Warton (1802), Essays on Gothic architecture p.14


  1. Heschel, Susannah; Ryad, Umar (2019). The Muslim Reception of European Orientalism. New York: Routledge. ISBN   978-1-138-23203-7.
  2. Mack 2001 , pp. 3–8, and throughout
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Darke, Diana (2020). Stealing from the Saracens how Islamic architecture shaped Europe. ISBN   978-1-78738-305-0. OCLC   1197079954.
  4. Aubé 2006 , pp. 164–165
  5. Hoffman, 324; Mack, Chapter 1, and passim throughout; The Art of the Umayyad Period in Spain (711–1031), Metropolitan Museum of Art timeline Retrieved April 1, 2011
  6. Honour & Fleming 1982 , pp. 256–262.
  7. Honour & Fleming 1982 , p. 269.
  8. The Stones of Venice , chapter 1, paras 25 and 29; discussed pp. 49–56 here
  9. "CNG: Feature Auction CNG 70. SPAIN, Castile. Alfonso VIII. 1158-1214. AV Maravedi Alfonsi-Dobla (3.86 g, 4h). Toledo (Tulaitula) mint. Dated Safar era 1229 (1191 AD)". Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  10. "Coin - Portugal". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-05-30.
  11. Beckwith 1964 , pp. 206–209.
  12. Jones, Dalu & Michell, George, (eds); The Arts of Islam, Arts Council of Great Britain, 9, 1976, ISBN   0-7287-0081-6
  13. Caiger-Smith, chapters 6 & 7
  14. Hugh Thomas, An Unfinished History of the World, 224-226, 2nd edn. 1981, Pan Books, ISBN   0-330-26458-3; Braudel, Fernand, Civilization & Capitalism, 15-18th Centuries, Vol 1: The Structures of Everyday Life, William Collins & Sons, London 1981, p. 440: "If medieval Islam towered over the Old Continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific for centuries on end, it was because no state (Byzantium apart) could compete with its gold and silver money ..."; and Vol 3: The Perspective of the World, 1984, ISBN   0-00-216133-8, p. 106: "For them [the Italian maritime republics], success meant making contact with the rich regions of the Mediterranean - and obtaining gold currencies, the dinars of Egypt or Syria, ... In other words, Italy was still only a poor peripheral region ..." [period before the Crusades]. The Statistics on World Population, GDP and Per Capita GDP, 1-2008 AD compiled by Angus Maddison show Iran and Iraq as having the world's highest per capita GDP in the year 1000
  15. Rather than along religious lines, the divide was between east and west, with the rich countries all lying east of the Nile: Maddison, Angus (2007): "Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD. Essays in Macro-Economic History", Oxford University Press, ISBN   978-0-19-922721-1, p. 382, table A.7. and Maddison, Angus (2007): "Contours of the World Economy, 1–2030 AD. Essays in Macro-Economic History", Oxford University Press, ISBN   978-0-19-922721-1, p. 185, table 4.2 give 425 1990 International Dollars for Christian Western Europe, 430 for Islamic North Africa, 450 for Islamic Spain and 425 for Islamic Portugal, while only Islamic Egypt and the Christian Byzantine Empire had significantly higher GDP per capita than Western Europe (550 and 680–770 respectively) (Milanovic, Branko (2006): "An Estimate of Average Income and Inequality in Byzantium around Year 1000", Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 449–470 (468))
  16. The subject of Mack's book; the Introduction gives an overview
  17. Hoffman, Eva R. (2007): Pathways of Portability: Islamic and Christian Interchange from the Tenth to the Twelfth Century, pp.324f., in: Hoffman, Eva R. (ed.): Late Antique and Medieval Art of the Mediterranean World, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN   978-1-4051-2071-5
  18. Mack, 4
  19. The subject of Mack's book; see Chapter 1 especially.
  20. Howard, Deborah (2000). Venice and the East. Connecticut: Yale. ISBN   0-300-08504-4.
  21. Caiger-Smith, Chapters 6 and 7
  22. Jones & Michell 1976 , p. 167
  23. 1 2 Mack 2001 , p. 51
  24. La Niece, McLeod & Rohrs 2010
  25. 1 2 3 R., Hoffman, Eva (2007). Pathways of portability : Islamic and christian interchange from the tenth to the twelfth century. OCLC   886982374.
  26. Kleinhenz & Barker 2004 , p.  835
  27. Bony 1985 , p.  306
  28. Tonia., Raquejo (1986). The "arab cathedrals" : moorish architecture as seen by British travellers. Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd. OCLC   1026541162.
  29. Schiffer 1999 , p. 141
  30. 1 2 3 Warren, John (1991), "Creswell's Use of the Theory of Dating by the Acuteness of the Pointed Arches in Early Muslim Architecture", Muqarnas, vol. 8, pp. 59–65
  31. 1 2 Bony 1985 , p.  17
  32. Kleiner 2008 , p.  342
  33. Bony 1985 , p.  12
  34. Hunt, Lucy-Anne (July 2000). "Crusader Sculpture and the So-Called 'Templar Workshop': A Reassessment of Two Carved Panels from the Dome of the Rock in the Haram Al-Sharif Museum in Jerusalem". Palestine Exploration Quarterly. 132 (2): 131–156. doi:10.1179/peq.2000.132.2.131. ISSN   0031-0328. S2CID   161235781.
  35. God and Enchantment of Place: Reclaiming Human Experience, David Brown, Oxford University Press, 2004, page 203.
  36. Mack 2001 , pp. 65–66
  37. Mack 2001 , pp. 52, 69
  38. Freider. p.84
  39. Mack 2001, p. 69
  40. 1 2 Mack 2001 , pp. 73–93
  41. Ionescu, Stefano (2005). Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania (PDF) (1st ed.). Rome: Verduci Editore. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  42. 1 2 Mack 2001 , p. 161
  43. Mack 2001 , pp. 164–65
  44. Harthan 1961 , pp. 10–12
  45. Fuhring 1994 , p. 162
  46. Mack 2001 , pp. 125–37
  47. Mack 2001 , pp. 127–28
  48. 1 2 3 Pasquini, Phil (2012). Domes, Arches, and Minarets: a history of Islamic-inspired buildings in America. Flypaper. ISBN   978-0-9670016-1-6.

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Gothic architecture is an architectural style that was prevalent in Europe from the late 12th to the 16th century, during the High and Late Middle Ages, surviving into the 17th and 18th centuries in some areas. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture. It originated in the Île-de-France and Picardy regions of northern France. The style at the time was sometimes known as opus Francigenum ; the term Gothic was first applied contemptuously during the later Renaissance, by those ambitious to revive the architecture of classical antiquity.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Islamic art</span> Visual art forms associated with Muslims

Islamic art is a part of Islamic culture and encompasses the visual arts produced since the 7th century CE by people who lived within territories inhabited or ruled by Muslim populations. Referring to characteristic traditions across a wide range of lands, periods, and genres, Islamic art is a concept used first by Western art historians since the late 19th century. Public Islamic art is traditionally non-representational, except for the widespread use of plant forms, usually in varieties of the spiralling arabesque. These are often combined with Islamic calligraphy, geometric patterns in styles that are typically found in a wide variety of media, from small objects in ceramic or metalwork to large decorative schemes in tiling on the outside and inside of large buildings, including mosques. Other forms of Islamic art include Islamic miniature painting, artefacts like Islamic glass or pottery, and textile arts, such as carpets and embroidery.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gentile da Fabriano</span> Italian International Gothic painter

Gentile da Fabriano was an Italian painter known for his participation in the International Gothic painter style. He worked in various places in central Italy, mostly in Tuscany. His best-known works are his Adoration of the Magi from the Strozzi Altarpiece (1423), and the Flight into Egypt. Following a visit to Florence in the 1419, he came in contact with humanism, which influenced his work throughout the rest of his career. He became highly influential for other painters in Florence, especially because of his use of detail based on the observations he made of the natural world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Medieval architecture</span> Architectural style related to the middle ages

Medieval architecture is architecture common in the Middle Ages, and includes religious, civil, and military buildings. Styles include pre-Romanesque, Romanesque, and Gothic. While most of the surviving medieval architecture is to be seen in churches and castles, examples of civic and domestic architecture can be found throughout Europe, in manor houses, town halls, almshouses, bridges, and residential houses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Medieval art</span> European art during Middle Ages

The medieval art of the Western world covers a vast scope of time and place, over 1000 years of art in Europe, and at certain periods in Western Asia and Northern Africa. It includes major art movements and periods, national and regional art, genres, revivals, the artists' crafts, and the artists themselves.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">High Middle Ages</span> Period of European history between AD 1000 and 1300

The High Middle Ages, or high medieval period, was the period of European history that lasted from AD 1000 to 1300. The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and were followed by the Late Middle Ages, which ended around AD 1500.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Islamic calligraphy</span> Artistic practice of calligraphy in Islamic contexts

Islamic calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy, in the languages which use Arabic alphabet or the alphabets derived from it. It includes Arabic, Persian, Ottoman, and Urdu calligraphy. It is known in Arabic as khatt Arabi, which translates into Arabic line, design, or construction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mudéjar art</span> Art style in post-Islamic Spain

Mudéjar art, also known as Mudéjar style, refers to a type of ornamentation and decoration used in the Iberian Christian kingdoms, primarily between the 13th and 16th centuries. It was applied to Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance architectural styles as constructive, ornamental, and decorative motifs derived from those that had been brought to or developed in Al-Andalus. These motifs and techniques were also present in the art and crafts, especially Hispano-Moresque lustreware that was once widely exported across Europe from southern and eastern Spain at the time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kufic</span> Style of Arabic script

Kufic script is a style of Arabic script that gained prominence early on as a preferred script for Quran transcription and architectural decoration, and it has since become a reference and an archetype for a number of other Arabic scripts. It developed from the Arabic alphabet in the city of Kufa, from which its name is derived. Kufic script is characterized by angular, rectilinear letterforms and its horizontal orientation. There are many different versions of Kufic script, such as square Kufic, floriated Kufic, knotted Kufic, and others. The artistic styling of Kufic led to its use in a non-Arabic context in Europe, as decoration on architecture, known as pseudo-Kufic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cappella Palatina</span> Royal chapel in Palermo, Sicily

The Palatine Chapel is the royal chapel of the Norman Palace in Palermo, Sicily. This building is a mixture of Byzantine, Norman and Fatimid architectural styles, showing the tricultural state of Sicily during the 12th century after Roger I and Robert Guiscard conquered the island.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Art of the Crusades</span>

Crusader art or the art of the Crusades, meaning primarily the art produced in Middle Eastern areas under Crusader control, spanned two artistic periods in Europe, the Romanesque and the Gothic, but in the Crusader kingdoms of the Levant the Gothic style barely appeared. The military crusaders themselves were mostly interested in artistic and development matters, or sophisticated in their taste, and much of their art was destroyed in the loss of their kingdoms so that only a few pieces survive today. Probably their most notable and influential artistic achievement was the Crusader castles, many of which achieve a stark, massive beauty. They developed the Byzantine methods of city-fortification for stand-alone castles far larger than any constructed before, either locally or in Europe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Venetian Gothic architecture</span> Architectural style of Medieval Venice

Venetian Gothic is the particular form of Italian Gothic architecture typical of Venice, originating in local building requirements, with some influence from Byzantine architecture, and some from Islamic architecture, reflecting Venice's trading network. Very unusually for medieval architecture, the style is both at its most characteristic in secular buildings, and the great majority of survivals are secular.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Coptic architecture</span>

Coptic architecture is the architecture of the Coptic Christians, who form the majority of Christians in Egypt.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Islamic world contributions to Medieval Europe</span> Influence of Islamic civilisation on Medieval Europe

During the High Middle Ages, the Islamic world was at its cultural peak, supplying information and ideas to Europe, via Al-Andalus, Sicily and the Crusader kingdoms in the Levant. These included Latin translations of the Greek Classics and of Arabic texts in astronomy, mathematics, science, and medicine. Translation of Arabic philosophical texts into Latin "led to the transformation of almost all philosophical disciplines in the medieval Latin world", with a particularly strong influence of Muslim philosophers being felt in natural philosophy, psychology and metaphysics. Other contributions included technological and scientific innovations via the Silk Road, including Chinese inventions such as paper and gunpowder.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Horseshoe arch</span> Emblematic arch common in Moorish architecture

The horseshoe arch, also called the Moorish arch and the keyhole arch, is a type of arch in which the circular curve is continued below the horizontal line of its diameter, so that the opening at the bottom of the arch is narrower than the arch's full span. Evidence for the earliest uses of this form are found in Late Antique and Sasanian architecture, but it became emblematic of Islamic architecture, especially Moorish architecture. It also made later appearances in Moorish Revival and Art Nouveau styles. Horseshoe arches can take rounded, pointed or lobed form.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Islamic ornament</span>

Islamic ornament is the use of decorative patterns in Islamic art and Islamic architecture. Its elements can be broadly divided into the arabesque, using curving plant-based elements, geometric patterns with straight lines or regular curves, and calligraphy, consisting of religious texts with stylized appearance, used both decoratively and to convey meaning. All three often involve elaborate interlacing in various mediums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pseudo-Kufic</span> Imitations of Arabic in European Middle Ages and Renaissance art

Pseudo-Kufic, or Kufesque, also sometimes pseudo-Arabic, is a style of decoration used during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, consisting of imitations of the Arabic Kufic script, or sometimes Arabic cursive script, made in a non-Arabic context: "Imitations of Arabic in European art are often described as pseudo-Kufic, borrowing the term for an Arabic script that emphasizes straight and angular strokes, and is most commonly used in Islamic architectural decoration". Pseudo-Kufic appears especially often in Renaissance art in depictions of people from the Holy Land, particularly the Virgin Mary. It is an example of Islamic influences on Western art.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Interlace (art)</span> Decorative crossing patterns in art

In the visual arts, interlace is a decorative element found in medieval art. In interlace, bands or portions of other motifs are looped, braided, and knotted in complex geometric patterns, often to fill a space. Interlacing is common in the Migration period art of Northern Europe, in the early medieval Insular art of Ireland and the British Isles, and Norse art of the Early Middle Ages, and in Islamic art.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Influences upon Gothic architecture</span>

The Gothic style of architecture was strongly influenced by the Romanesque architecture which preceded it; by the growing population and wealth of European cities, and by the desire to express grandeur. It was also influenced by theological doctrines which called for more interior light as a symbol of divinity, and by the practical necessity of many churches to accommodate large numbers of pilgrims. It was especially by technical improvements in vaulting and buttresses which allowed much greater height and larger windows.


Further reading