What is the course about?
We will take a broad look at the development of Islamic art from formative influences assimilated under the Medieval Caliphates to its flowering under the patronage of important Early Modern Empires of the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and Spain, tracing the movement of ideas across geographical regions.
We will examine the overarching themes of Architecture, Calligraphy, Arabesque, Geometry and Illustration in Islamic design, and how they worked together to produce homogenous visual cultures during each period of their evolution. The study will cover architectural and book design, and a range of decorative arts including ceramics, glass, crystal and jade, metalwork, woodwork, textiles and clothing in the context of patronage and power.
The aim is to provide a coherent road-map of key periods and styles on which to build further detailed study.
This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• The evolution of key themes in Islamic art.
• The development of defining stylistic features under important dynasties.
• Patronage and the working practices of artists and craftsmen.
• The movement and cross-influences of ideas and techniques across the Islamic world.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Understand the key themes in Islamic art.
• Name some important Islamic dynasties.
• Identify defining stylistic features of the arts under key patrons or dynasties.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to buy a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
• VB257 - Islamic Art in the medieval world
• VB700 - Islamic art in medieval North and West Africa
• VB438 - Arts of the empire-builders: Timurids, Safavids and Mughals
• VB708 - The Arts of the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire
• VB429 - Asian art: cultural synergies in the Indian subcontinent.