Islamicate Art across the Mediterranean World

05feb2018 21mrt2018


Early Islamic material culture developed within the framework of Roman, Byzantine and Sassanian culture. Muslims constituted a commonality with Christians and Jews in the Middle East: they shared the same language and cultural habits, and shared and contested (sacred) spaces in the cities they inhabited. An Islamicate artistic and architectural language developed that was shared, to a certain extent, by these three monotheistic faiths. For many centuries this common artistic language with multifold regional varieties was found throughout the Islamic lands of the Mediterranean region.

Simultaneously contacts through trade, war, diplomatic relations and pilgrimage brought about a lively interaction between the lands across the entire Mediterranean world. Conquerors demolished or appropriated symbolical buildings in cities like Damascus and Athens and rebuilt and added symbols of their own. Objects migrated and changed place as booty, souvenir or gift, adopting new roles in their new localities. A taste for an ‘oriental’ aesthetic among the well-to-do middle classes set about Middle Eastern artistic production specifically targeting the European markets.

The interchange between the different creeds and Mediterranean regions will be discussed from two perspectives. Firstly, the development of iconic cities such as Jerusalem and Constantinople is analyzed through material manifestations of Islamicate exchange, adaptation, destruction and exclusivity. A second focus is on shared taste through the migration and adaptation of techniques and iconography in selected art-forms in the medieval and modern Mediterranean and the new role that transferred objects took on in the new cultural value systems.

Date, time, location and price

  • Date: 5 February - 21 March 2018
  • Time: Mondays, 09:00 - 11:00 and Wednesdays, 15:00 - 17:00
  • Number of lectures: 14
  • Location: P.C. Hoofthuis, room 1.04
  • Price: 180 / 162 (discount price for AUV-members)

Disclaimer: For the current timetable, always consult the UvA timetable website. The Illustere School is not responsible for changes in the timetable.

Important information

Course type Open UvA-Course
Education Lectures
Semester/blok Semester 2, block 1
Language English
Study material Articles on Blackboard
Other You may only attend the lectures, not the seminars or other extras. It is not possible to partake in exams or obtain credits.
Deadline registration 29 January 2018 (subject to availability)


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Gepubliceerd door  Illustere School