SOAS University of London

SOAS scholar publishes major new work on art in the Medieval Islamic Mediterranean

1 October 2018
anna contadinibook

Anna Contadini, Professor of the History of Islamic Art at SOAS, University of London has edited and contributed to a new volume which seeks to change the understanding of medieval art and metalwork production around the Mediterranean.

The Pisa Griffin and the Mari-Cha Lion. Metalwork, Art, and Technology in the Medieval Islamicate Mediterranean is an interdisciplinary study focusing on two unique bronze objects produced between the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries.

Through scientific, historical and art historical analysis, it investigates the many issues that surround them, including fundamental questions of location and period, purpose and patronage, their transcultural meanings, and their agency as the function of each has mutated.

Deborah Howard, Professor Emerita of Architectural History at University of Cambridge, said: "This beautifully illustrated book publishes the complete results of the technical and historical investigation over years of dedicated research in several countries. It is a model of transcultural enquiry, showing how the close focus on individual artefacts can help answer broader historical, cultural and technological questions that span ideological divides. The book breaks down long-established boundaries: between science and the humanities; between museums and universities; and between ideas and objects."

The volume is the culmination of over 20 years of multidisciplinary research and is based on the Seminar on the Pisa Griffin and the Mari-Cha Lion held at SOAS in 2013 (funded by SOAS FAH “seed corn funds”) where Professor Contadini brought together scholars of various disciplines in an international seminar on the subject.

Further information on the book can be found on the publisher’s website.