Pseudo-Kufic, or Kufesque sometimes Pseudo-Arabic, is a style of decoration used during the Middle Ages or the Renaissance, consisting of imitations of the Arabic Kufic script, or sometimes Arabic cursive script, made in a non-Arabic context: "Imitations of Arabic in European art are described as pseudo-Kufic, borrowing the term for an Arabic script that emphasizes straight and angular strokes, is most used in Islamic architectural decoration". Pseudo-Kufic appears often in Renaissance art in depictions of people from the Holy Land the Virgin Mary, it is an example of Islamic influences on Western art. Some of the first imitations of the Kufic script go back to the 8th century when the English King Offa produced gold coins imitating Islamic dinars; these coins were copies of an Abbasid dinar struck in 774 by Caliph Al-Mansur, with "Offa Rex" centred on the reverse. It is clear; the coin may have been produced in order to trade with Islamic Spain. In Medieval southern Italy from the mid-10th century, imitations of Arabic coins, called tarì, were widespread but only used illegible pseudo-Kufic script.
Examples are known of the incorporation of Kufic script and Islamic-inspired colourful diamond-shaped designs such as a 13th French Limoges enamel ciborium at the British Museum. The band in pseudo-Kufic script "was a recurrent ornamental feature in Limoges and had long been adopted in Aquitaine". Numerous instances of pseudo-Kufic are known from European art from around the 10th to the 15th century. Pseudo-Kufic inscriptions were used as decorative bands in the architecture of Byzantine Greece from the mid 11th century to mid-12th century, in decorative bands around religious scenes in French and German wall paintings from the mid-12th to mid-13th century, as well as in contemporary manuscript illuminations. Pseudo-Kufic would be used as writing or as decorative elements in textiles, religious halos or frames. Many are visible in the paintings of Giotto. From 1300 to 1600, according to Rosamond Mack, the Italian imitations of Arabic script tend to rely on cursive Arabic rather than Kufic, therefore should better be designated by the more generalist term of "Pseudo-Arabic".
The habit of representing gilt halos decorated with pseudo-Kufic script seems to have disappeared in 1350, but was revived around 1420 with the work of painters such as Gentile da Fabriano, responding to artistic influence in Florence, or Masaccio, influenced by Gentile, although his own script was "jagged and clumsy", as well as Giovanni Toscani or Fra Angelico, in a more Gothic style. From around 1450, northern Italian artists started to incorporate pseudo-Islamic decorative devices in their paintings. Francesco Squarcione started the trend in 1455, he was soon followed by his main pupil, Andrea Mantegna. In the 1456–1459 San Zeno Altarpiece, Mantegna combines pseudo-Islamic script in halos and garment hems, to depiction of Mamluk book-bindings in the hand of San Zeno, to a Turkish carpet at the feet of the Virgin Mary; the exact reason for the incorporation of pseudo-Kufic or pseudo-Arabic in Medieval or early Renaissance painting is unclear. It seems that Westerners mistakenly associated 13-14th century Middle-Eastern scripts as being identical with the scripts current during Jesus's time, thus found natural to represent early Christians in association with them: "In Renaissance art, pseudo-Kufic script was used to decorate the costumes of Old Testament heroes like David".
Another reason might be that artist wished to express a cultural universality for the Christian faith, by blending together various written languages, at a time when the church had strong international ambitions. Pseudo-Hebrew is sometimes seen, as in the mosaic at the back of the abse in Marco Marziale's Circumcision, which does not use actual Hebrew characters, it was common in German works. Pseudo-Arabic elements became rare after the second decade of the 16th century. According to Rosamond Mack: "The Eastern scripts and halos disappeared when the Italians viewed the Early Christian era in an antique Roman context." Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe Thematic development of Italian Renaissance painting Oriental carpets in Renaissance painting Islamic influences on Christian art Orientalism Braden K. Frieder Chivalry & the perfect prince: tournaments and armor at the Spanish Habsburg court Truman State University, 2008 ISBN 1-931112-69-X, ISBN 978-1-931112-69-7 Cardini, Franco. Europe and Islam.
Blackwell Publishing, 2001. ISBN 978-0-631-22637-6 Grierson, Philip Medieval European Coinage Cambridge University Press, 2007 ISBN 0-521-03177-X, ISBN 978-0-521-03177-6 Mack, Rosamond E. Bazaar to Piazza: Islamic Trade and Italian Art, 1300–1600, University of California Press, 2001 ISBN 0-520-22131-1 Matthew, The Norman kingdom of Sicily Cambridge University Press, 1992 ISBN 978-0-521-26911-7
Nabatean architecture refers to the building traditions of the Nabateans in Jordan. It includes the temple and tombs of Petra in the sandstone cliffs of Jordan’s Negev desert; the style appears a mix of Hellenistic influences. Much of the surviving architecture was excavated out of rock cliffs. So the columns do not support anything. Ceramics and coins were part of the culture. In addition to the most famous sites in Petra, there are Nabatean complexes at Obodas and residential complexes at Mampsis and a religious site of et-Tannur. Nabataean art
Islamic interlace patterns
Interlacing patterns are patterns of lines and shapes that have traditionally dominated Islamic art. They can be broadly divided into the arabesque, using curving plant-based elements, the girih, using geometrical forms with straight lines or regular curves. Both of these forms of Islamic art developed from the rich interlacing patterns of the Byzantine Empire and from Coptic art. Eva Baer, in her book Islamic Ornament, describes the art:....the intricate interlacings common in medieval Islamic art, are prefigured in Umayyad architecture revetments: in floor mosaics, window grilles and stucco carvings and wall paintings, in the decoration of a whole group of early east Iranian, eighth- to tenth-century metal objects. One of the first Western studies of the subject was E. H. Hankin's "The Drawing of Geometric Patterns in Saracenic Art", published in Memoirs of the Archaeological Society of India in 1925. In this essay, Hankin takes the view that the artists who created these designs used a method based on the use of the compass and the straight edge.
This view is supported by the majority of contemporary authorities on the subject, such as Keith Critchlow in his book, Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach. This explains how ornamented objects as varied in size as a book or a mosque, were treated by artists using the same geometric methods adapted to the size and nature of the object being ornamented. On the other hand, Owen Jones describes a method whereby interlace ornament is designed on a foundation of geometric grids, with the same grids re-drawn to the size of the object. In his catalog for the Crystal Palace exhibition, Jones wrote about the decorative art found in the Alhambra, where much of the decoration consists of interwoven designs, that: The grace and refinement of Greek ornament is here surpassed. Possessing with the Greeks, an appreciation of pure form, the Moors exceeded them in variety and imagination; the Islamic arabesque is a form of artistic decoration consisting of "surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils" or plain lines combined with other elements.
It consists of a single design which can be'tiled' or seamlessly repeated as many times as desired. Girih girih sāzī or girih chīnī, is an Islamic decorative art form used in architecture and handicrafts, consisting of geometric lines that form an interlaced strapwork. In Iranian architecture, gereh sazi patterns were seen in banna'i brickwork and mosaic faience work. Girih has been defined as "geometric designs composed upon or generated from arrays of points from which construction lines radiate and at which they intersect. Khachkars – Armenian knotwork Knots and graphs – mathematical way of describing ornamental knots Craig S. Kaplan Taprats a website devoted to Islamic design, with an applet to draw such star-like figures
The horseshoe arch called the Moorish arch and the keyhole arch, is the emblematic arch of Moorish architecture. Horseshoe arches can take pointed or lobed form. Horseshoe arches are known from pre-Islamic Syria, where the form was used in the fourth century CE in the Baptistery of Mar Ya'qub at Nisibin and Qasr Ibn Wardan; some argue. It was adopted by the Islamic caliphates, with a form of it appearing in the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-'As in Cairo, the Great Mosque of Damascus, Qasr al-Hayr al-Gharbi, it appears in friezes in the ruins of Qasr al-Qastal and it is prominent throughout the Umayyad palace at Amman Citadel in Jordan. Horseshoe and semicircular arches are the predominant type of arch used in the Umayyad desert castles in Jordan and Lebanon. However, it was in North Africa that horseshoe arches developed their characteristic form. Prior to the Muslim invasion of Spain, the Visigoths used them sporadically, although it is a matter of debate whether the arches in the extant churches are pre-Moorish or rebuilt after the Islamic conquest of Iberia.
Some tombstones from that period have been found in the north of Spain with horseshoe arches in them, with speculation about a pre-Roman local Celtic tradition. The arch of the Church of Santa Eulalia de Boveda—part of a previous Roman temple—in Lugo, points in that direction; the Umayyads used it prominently and used to enclose it in an alfiz to accentuate the effect of its shape. This can be seen at a large scale in the Great Mosque of Córdoba; this style of horseshoe arch spread all over the Caliphate and adjacent areas, was adopted by the successor Muslim emirates of the peninsula, the taifas, as well as by the Almoravid dynasty, Almohad Caliphate, the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, although lobed, round and multifoil arches were used at that time. The Mozarabs adopted this style of arch into their architecture and illuminated manuscripts. Horseshoe arches were used in the Great Mosque of Kairouan, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo, in a pointed form, in the Mosque of Muhammad ibn Khairun, Tunisia.
Mudéjar style, developed from the 12th to the 17th centuries, continued the tradition of horseshoe arches in the Iberian Peninsula, started in the 7th century by the Visigoths. In addition to their use across the Islamic world, horseshoe arches became popular in Western countries at the time of the Moorish Revival, they were used in Moorish revival synagogues. Horseshoe arches first appeared in Indo-Islamic architecture in 1311 in the Alai Darwaza gatehouse at the Qutb Complex in Delhi, though they were not a consistent feature in India, they are used in some forms of Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, a 19th-century style associated with the British Raj
In Iranian architecture, banna'i is an architectural decorative art in which glazed tiles are alternated with plain bricks to create geometric patterns over the surface of a wall or to spell out sacred names or pious phrases. This technique originated in Syria and Iraq in the 8th century, matured in the Seljuq and Timurid era, as it spread to Iran and Central Asia. If the brickwork design is in relief it is referred to as hazarbaf; the earliest surviving example of decorative brick work with colored bricks is found in the city gate of Raqqa. The earliest known example of hazārbāf is found in the Ukhaydir Palace near Baghdad, built around 762; the technique appeared in Iran and central Asia more than a century but with more sophisticated designs. The tomb of the Samanid ruler Ismā'īl, had walls with protruding and recessed bricks that created a weaving pattern. Islamic brickwork grew in sophistication of its techniques over the centuries. In the 11th century, the use of multiple brick sizes, variation in the depth of the joint between bricks formed shadow that contrasted with the horizontal lines of the brick rows.
Rows of brick were set deep inside the face of the building and raised above it, to create positive and negative spaces. Chihil-Dukhtaran Minaret in Isfahan is one of the earliest example of brick work with triangles, octagons, cruciform designs; the Gunbad-i Sorkh monument in Azerbaijan was made of ten different types of carved bricks in its corner columns. In the 12th century in Azerbaijan, bricks were combined with glazed tiles; such bricks were cobalt blue and turquoise colored. The earliest example of script set in brick work is seen on a minaret in Ghazni about 1100, spelling out the name of the ruler, the Ghaznavid ruler Massud III and his titles; this building pieces of terra cotta were inserted between the bricks to create the inscription. Buildings used the shadows of raised bricks and others used different colored bricks to spell out words; this practice led to the covering whole brick buildings in sacred writing spelling out the names of Allah and Muhammad. Square kufic, the version of the Arabic kufic calligraphy consisting of square angles only, is believed to have been an architectural adaptation of this script.
Kufic writing was achieved using square bricks
Umayyad architecture developed in the Umayyad Caliphate between 661 and 750 in its heartlands of Syria and Palestine. It drew extensively on the architecture of other Middle Eastern civilizations and that of the Byzantine Empire, but introduced innovations in decoration and new types of building such as mosques with mihrab's and minarets; the Umayyad caliphate was established in 661 after Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, was murdered in Kufa. Muawiyah I, governor of Syria, became the first Umayyad caliph; the Umayyads made Damascus their capital. Under the Umayyads the Arab empire continued to expand extending to Central Asia and the borders of India in the east, Yemen in the south, the Atlantic coast of what is now Morocco and the Iberian peninsula in the west; the Umayyads built new cities unfortified military camps that provided bases for further conquests. Wasit, Iraq was the most important of these, included a square Friday mosque with a hypostyle roof; the empire was secular and tolerant of existing customs in the conquered lands, creating resentment among those looking for a more theocratic state.
In 747 a revolution began in the east. By 750 the Umayyads had been overthrown by the Abbasids. A branch of the Umayyad dynasty continued to rule in Eberia until 1051. All monuments from the Umayyad period that have survived are in Syria and Palestine; the sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is the oldest surviving Islamic building. The Umayyads adopted the construction techniques of Byzantine architecture and Sasanian architecture, they re-used existing buildings. There was some innovation in types of building. Most buildings in Syria were of high quality ashlar masonry, using large tightly-joined blocks, sometimes with carving on the facade. Stone barrel vaults were only used to roof small spans. Wooden roofs were used with the wood in Syria brought from the forests of Lebanon; these roofs had shallow pitches and rested on wooden trusses. Wooden domes were constructed both in Jerusalem. Baked brick and mud brick were used in Mesopotamia, due to lack of stone. Where brick was used in Syria, the work was in the finer Mesopotamian style rather than the more crude Byzantine style.
The Umayyads used local architects. Some of their buildings cannot be distinguished from those of the previous regime. However, in many cases eastern and western elements were combined to give a distinctive new Islamic style. For example, the walls at Qasr Mshatta are built from cut stone in the Syrian manner, the vaults are Mesopotamian in design and Coptic and Byzantine elements appear in the decorative carving; the horseshoe arch appears for the first time in Umayyad architecture to evolve to its most advanced form in al-Andalus. Umayyad architecture is distinguished by the extent and variety of decoration, including mosaics, wall painting and carved reliefs with Islamic motifs; the Umayyads are known for some new and some adapted from earlier forts. The largest is Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi; the palaces were symbolically defended by walls and gates. In some cases the outside walls carried decorative friezes; the palaces would have a bath house, a mosque, a main castle. The entrance to the castle would be elaborate.
Towers along the walls would hold apartments with three or five rooms. These rooms were simple; the palaces had a second floor holding formal meeting rooms and official apartments. The fortress-like appearance was misleading, thus Qasr Kharana appears to have arrowslits. The fortress-like plan was derived from Roman forts built in Syria, construction followed earlier Syrian methods with some Byzantine and Mesopotamian elements; the baths derive from Roman models, but had smaller heated rooms and larger ornate rooms that would have been used for entertainment. The palaces had floor mosaics and frescoes or paintings on the walls, with designs that show both eastern and western influences. One fresco in the bath of Qasr Amra depicts six kings. Inscriptions below in Arabic and Greek identify the first four as the rulers of Byzantium, Spain and Abyssinia. Stucco sculptures were sometimes incorporated in the palace buildings. Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi is about 100 kilometres northeast of Palmyra on the main road from Aleppo to Iraq.
A large walled enclosure 7 by 4 kilometres was used to contain domestic animals. A walled madina, or city, contained an olive oil press and six large houses. Nearby there was some simpler houses. According to an inscription dated 728, the caliph provided significant funding for its development; the settlement was soon modified. The madina had four gates, one in each wall, but three were soon walled up; the basic layout was formal, but the buildings failed to comply with the plan. Most of the desert palaces were abandoned after the Umayyads fell from power, remain as ruins. Mosques were makeshift. In Iraq, they evolved from square prayer enclosures; the ruins of two large Umayyad mosques have been found in Iraq. One is 240 by the other 213 by 135 metres. Both had hypostyle designs, with roofs supported by elaborately designed columns. In Syria, the Umayyads preserved the overall concept of a court surrounded by porticos, with a deeper sanctuary, developed in Medina. Rather than make the sanctuary a hypostyle hall, as was done in Iraq, they divided it into three aisles
Moorish architecture is the articulated Islamic architecture of North Africa and parts of Spain and Portugal, where the Andalusians were dominant between 711 and 1492. The best surviving examples in Iberia are La Mezquita in Córdoba and the Alhambra palace in Granada, as well as the Giralda in Seville. Other notable examples in Iberia include the ruined palace city of Medina Azahara, the church San Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, the Aljafería in Saragossa and baths at for example Ronda and Alhama de Granada. Characteristic elements of Moorish architecture include muqarnas, horseshoe arches, domes, crenellated arches, lancet arches, ogee arches and decorative tile work known as zellij in Arabic or azulejo in Spanish and Portuguese; the architectural tradition is exemplified by mosques and other edifices such as the Mezquita in Córdoba. Other notable buildings include the ruined palace city of Medina Azahara, the church San Cristo de la Luz in Toledo, the Aljafería in Zaragoza and baths at for example Ronda and Alhama de Granada.
The term is sometimes used to include the products of the Islamic civilisation of Southern Italy. The Palazzo dei Normanni in Sicily was begun in the 9th century by the Emir of Palermo. There is archeological evidence of an eighth-century mosque in France. Alicante Castle of Santa Bárbara Antequera Alcazaba Almería Alcazaba Badajoz Alcazaba Bailén Baños de la Encina Castle Córdoba The great mosque Medina Azahara Baños Califales Calahorra Tower Gormaz Gormaz Castle Granada Alhambra and Generalife Cuarto Real de Santo Domingo Albayzín Jaén Saint Catalina's Castle Jerez de la Frontera Alcazar Málaga Alcazaba Gibralfaro Mérida Alcazaba Seville Alcázar Giralda Torre del Oro Toledo Mosque of Cristo de la Luz Mezquita de las Tornerías Trujillo Alcazaba Zaragoza Aljafería Caliphate of Córdoba: Medina Azahara in Córdoba Mosque of Cristo de la Luz in Toledo "Minaret of San Juan" at Córdoba, once belonging to a mosque Archaeological site of the Villarrubia palace Period of Taifas: the Mezquita de las Tornerías in Toledo the Almohad minaret known as Giralda at Sevilla, once part of the Great Mosque of Sevilla Aljaferia palace of the Banu Hud dynasty in Zaragoza.
Granada Hospital Masjid of the madrasa of Yusuf I in the so-called Palacio de la Madraza New Funduq of Granada Qaysariyya of Granada Algarve Albufeira Paderne Castle Silves Silves Castle Alentejo Mértola Mosque of Nossa Senhora da Anunciação Estremadura Sintra Castle of the Moors There is a high concentration of Moorish architecture in the Maghrebi states of Morocco and Tunisia in the cities of Marrakesh, Fez, Algiers and Testour. Spanish Mosque - built by Sir Vicar-ul-Umra at Hyderabad. Islamic architecture Arab-Norman culture Islamic influences on Christian art Moorish Revival Moroccan architecture Mudéjar Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon List of former mosques in Spain List of former mosques in Portugal Curl, James Stevens. A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Oxford University Press. P. 880 pages. ISBN 0-19-860678-8. Barrucand, Marianne. Moorish Architecture in Andalusia. Taschen. P. 240 pages. ISBN 3-8228-2116-0. Archnet.org