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Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

The Art of Islamic Metalwork

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2015/2016
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 2 or Year 3
Taught in:
Term 1
The course will present the history of Islamic metalwork and its variety form the earliest documented period (8th century) to the 19th century. It will explore the earliest known examples of the art of metalwork from Khorasan in east Iran, further to the Mediterranean (Egypt, Syria, Spain) then Mossul in Irak ( 8th - 13th C.) The second phase will discuss metalwork from Iran (east and west), Egypt, Syria (13th to 16th C), and Anatolia/Turkey (16th -18thC), India (15th to 18th C) and finally Iranian metalwork in the 19th century.     

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate that he/she understands some essential aspects of Islamic art and material culture from the beginning of Islamic history to the 19th century. They should be informed about the various attitudes of Islamic societies towards figural representations across time and space, the significance of the written word and of abstract and stylised designs in Islamic art, and the interaction of metalwork with other crafts. They will learn about continuity of pre-Islamic traditions and interactions with other cultures. They will learn about the cultural, ceremonial and religious contexts of metalwork objects, and their aesthetic and social significance. The students should be able to identity regional peculiarities and chronological evolution.  

Method of assessment

Unseen exam = 70% of mark, 2 x 2,000 word assignment worth 15% each of mark