World of Islamic Art and Architecture

Course Description:

A five session course exploring the continuities and transformations in Islamic Art, looking at the way tradition and innovation have shaped its key aspects against a history of 1300 years, across backdrop stretching from Spain in the West to the Far East.
There will be a balance between religious and secular art across these five sessions, which will include The Formation of Islamic Art - Islamic Art and the late Classical World, The Development of the Mosque from 7th century onwards, Princely Power and Courtly Pleasure in the Medieval Islamic World and Calligraphy, Illumination and the Art of The Qur’an. The concluding lecture, entitled The Lasting Influence of Islamic Art in the West and in Contemporary Art and Architecture, will expand our focus to a global one, relevant to the present. 
Entry Requirements:

Good level of English language (no translation will be provided).
Previous art related experience or education is not required.

William Lawrie 


19th November - 17th December 2017. Sunday evenings 6.30pm – 9.00pm

Week  1 -  19th November


Lecture 1 - Introduction / Early Islamic Art in the Late Classical world.

Placing early Islamic Art and Architecture within a context of tradition and transformation, looking on the one hand at late Roman structures such as forts, bath houses, basilicas and triumphal gateways, and on the other at Sassanian (pre-Islamic Persian) iconography of kingship.

Week 2  -  26th November

Lecture 2 - Development of Mosque.

Tracing the lineage of mosque architecture from the earliest examples (non-extant and existing), the symbolic components - e.g.  Mihrab, Qibla, Minbar, Minaret, and later development into highly differentiated regional styles.

Week 3  -  3rd December

Lecture 3 - Princely Power and Courtly Pleasure
Expressions of power in secular art, objects and architecture.

Week 4 - 10th December

Lecture 4 - Calligraphy, Illumination and Qur’anic Art.
Tracing the development of styles of scripts, production of Qur’an manuscripts and inscriptions.

Week 5  - 17th December

Lecture 5 - Islamic Art: Legacy in Western Art and Architecture / Islamic Art Today.


1st Lecture – Custot Gallery 

2nd&3rd Lectures – FN Design 

4th&5th Lectures – The Third Line 



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