This course serves as an introduction to the pre-modern Islamic artistic traditions of the Mediterranean, Near East, and Central and South Asia. It surveys core Islamic beliefs, the basic characteristics of Islamic art and architecture, and art and architecture created under each dynasty and ruling party. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify the core beliefs of Islam, the major characteristics of Islamic art, and the major forms of Islamic architecture; identify major pre-modern Islamic works of art and monuments from the Middle East, Northern Africa, Spain, and South Asia; explain how the core beliefs of Islam contributed to the basic characteristics of Islamic art and architecture and the secular art works and architecture of the Islamic world; identify the succeeding dynasties that ruled the Islamic world; explain the important role that the patronage of art and architecture had played in definitions of kingship. (Art History 303)
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In this packet we look at works that span nearly a thousand yearsäóîfrom shortly after the foundation of Islam in the seventh century to the seventeenth century when the last two great Islamic empiresäóîthe Ottoman and the Safavidäóîhad reached their peak. Although the definition of Islamic art usually includes work made in Mughal India, it is beyond the scope of this packet. The works we will look at here come from as far west as Spain and as far east as Afghanistan.