Ways into Islamic art
Time: 11:00 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB512
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
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. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
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 as well as basic functions of Zoom, specifically microphone and camera.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught by lecture with slide images and you will be invited to participate in group discussion. There will be handouts provided by your tutor; these handouts will be available digitally via a Google Classroom. You will be invited to join the Google Classroom within a week of your course start date.
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:
Islamic Art in the medieval world
Arts of the empire-builders: Timurids, Safavids and Mughals
The Arts of the Golden Age of the Ottoman Empire.
Anita Chowdry is a London based visual artist, educator and researcher. Her particular interest is in the arts of the Islamic World and South Asia, and the materials and processes that went into them. She has an M.A. in Art and Science from Central Saint Martin’s UAL, and is currently engaged in the codicological study of a group of 15th Century Turcoman manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Anita has over 30 years’ experience teaching art and process to adults and professional groups, covering major institutions in the UK and abroad.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.