Islamic Art History Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Bab
"Gate"
Epigraphy
study of inscriptions
Sultan
ruler of Islamic country
Medallion
Decorative circle shape used frequently in Islamic art
Byzantine
Greek-speaking Christian empire that succeeded the Roman empire; its capitol was Constantinople; in power from 330-1453
Spandrel
Decorated space connecting two arches
Islam
"submission to God"; Abrahamic, monotheistic religion articulated in the Qu'ran and by the Prophet Muhammad's teachings: the five pillars are:
1. Shahada (there is no God but Allah...)
2. Salat (daily prayer)
3. Zakat (alms-giving)
4. Sawm (fasting during Ramadan)
5. Hajj (pilgrimage)
Buttress
Column- or pier-like structure incorporated into a wall to reinforce it, usually an outer wall
Kiswa
Cloth covering of the Ka'aba; embroidered with a strip of Qu'ranic calligraphy; it's replaced every year; in modern times it's black with gold embroidery
Kufic
Calligraphic Arabic script in which Qu'ranic sayings are often written
Shi'ite
Minority sect of Islam; Shi'ites believe that the first three successors to Muhammad were illegitimate, thought Ali (the fourth) was legitimate; want the caliph to be an imam, not just an administrator
Zoroastrian
Iranian religion derived from the teachings of Zoroaster (Zarathustra) (probably early-second millennium bc). It maintains a dualistic doctrine, contrasting the force of light and good in the world with that of darkness and evil. The most important architectural remains are fire temples: such buildings provided precedents for later Islamic mausolea and elements of mosque design
Tiraz
Embroidery; sometimes refers to the factory that produces it
Caravanserai
Roadside inn for travelers, usually traders; had stables for camels and luxurious accommodations for guests; they were usually supplied by an oasis and so they were often abandoned when the water ran out
Fresco
Mural painting on walls or ceilings
Mosques:
Three Principal Types:
__ mosque
__ mosque
__-__ plan mosque
Mosques:
Three Principal Types:
Hypostyle mosque
Basilica mosque
Four-iwan plan mosque
Mina'i
pottery in which colors are applied both under and over the glaze
Sunni
Majority (90%) sect of Islam; owe allegiance to the caliphate and elected successors, including both Abu Bakr and Ali
Voussoir
Construction of stones forming an arch or lintel that are placed together and are usually alternating in colors
Shahnama
literally "book of the kings". The Persian national epic composed by Firdausi and completed in 1010
Muhammad
Prophet and founder of Islam; lived from 570-632; the hadith consists of his teachings and the examples he set during his own life
Imam
Leads prayer; the spiritual leader of a community
Iwan
vaulted or flat roofed hall, open at one end; often used to simply cover a hall in a mosque served as an entryway. Vaulted space incorporated in a single wall
Ka'aba
Cube shaped building that is the focal point of the hajj and the most holy site in Islam; contains the Black Stone
Blazon
A symbol used by Mamluks in both architecture and decorative arts to denote a certain position, rank, or to show off the family name. Shields with a decorative symbol. Usually in the form of a medallion containing written description of armorial/royal identities similar to a coat of arms used in Europe.
Apotropaic
device used to ward off evil or negative influences
Qibla
Wall in a mosque which incorporates a niche (mihrab) indicating which direction to pray in (towards Mecca)
Shamsa
"little sun"  A term derived from shams or sun  medallions resembling the sun used in between arches that may have been used to admit sunlight pass through
Medina
City in Western Saudi Arabia which is significant to Islam because it was Muhammad's home after the hijra and also where he was buried
Madrasa
A school, often established next to a mosque by a patron of the community
Façade
the face or front wall of a building
Friday mosque
Mosque which must be able to contain all the men of a community for Friday prayer
Beveled
An edge of a structure which is not perpendicular to its face; during the carving, the cut was rounded or angled rather than straight through
Engaged columns
A column which is built partially into a wall; not structurally necessary; often used in building interiors
Canopy tomb
tomb with 4 open doors with dome above
Typical elements contained in Mosques:
__, a fountain in the center of the courtyard (generally rectangular and enclosed)
__, the wall of the Mosque facing Mecca
__, the niche in the qibla wall
__, the pulpit next to the mihrab where the imam (or teacher
Typical elements contained in Mosques:
Sahn, a fountain in the center of the courtyard (generally rectangular and enclosed)
Qibla, the wall of the Mosque facing Mecca
Mihrab, the niche in the qibla wall
Minbar, the pulpit next to the mihrab where the imam (or teacher in Arabic) recites the Koran and gives sermons
Minaret, a tower usually located at each corner of a mosque, used by the muezzin (or crier in Arabic) to call the faithful to prayer 5x a day
Mount Hira
Cave in a mountain above the city of Mecca where Muhammad received his first revelations from Allah
Lost Wax method of casting
Early method of casting
1. Original (usually bronze) created
2. Plaster cast made over the original, can be taken off and put back together easily
3. Wax poured into cast so that a thick layer of wax
is molded to the inside of it
4. Plaster cast removed
5. Wax mold is used to replicate the original
masqura = area reserved for the __
area reserved for the ruler
Mihrab = semicircular niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the __; that is, the direction of the __ in Mecca and hence the __ that Muslims should face when praying.
Mihrab = semicircular niche (architecture) in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla; that is, the direction of the Kabaa in Mecca and hence the direction that Muslims should face when praying.
The __ mosque most closely reflects the supposed origin of __'s house in Medina.
The hypostyle mosque most closely reflects the supposed origin of Muhammad's house in Medina.
610 Founding of __, revelations to Muhammad (d. 632)
633-61 Early __
661-750 __ Umayyad Dynasty
750-1258 __ Dynasty
756-1031 __ Umayyad Dynasty
1037-1194 __ Dynasty
1232-1492 __ Nasrid Dynasty
1252-1517 __ Mamluk Dynasty
1290-1918 __ Empire
1453 Fall of _
610 Founding of Islam, revelations to Muhammad (d. 632)
633-61 Early Caliphs
661-750 Syrian Umayyad Dynasty
750-1258 Abbasid Dynasty
756-1031 Spanish Umayyad Dynasty
1037-1194 Seljuk Dynasty
1232-1492 Spanish Nasrid Dynasty
1252-1517 Egyptian Mamluk Dynasty
1290-1918 Ottoman Empire
1453 Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks
1918 Modern Turkey Founded
5 Pillars of Islam:
__ of __: "There is no god but __ and __ is his messenger (or prophet)."
Ritual prayer __ x a day facing Mecca (__'s __)
__ to the poor
Fasting during the month of __ (between sun up and sun down
Pilgrimage to __ (visit to Islam's holi
5 Pillars of Islam:
Statement of faith: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger (or prophet)."
Ritual prayer 5 x a day facing Mecca (Muhammad's birthplace)
Charity to the poor
Fasting during the month of Ramadan (between sun up and sun down)
Pilgrimage to Mecca (visit to Islam's holiest structure, the Kaaba) once in a lifetime for those able to undertake it.
In 750, the Abbasids who ruled Africa, overthrew the Umayyad caliphs and moved the capital from Damascus to Baghdad. One Umayyad caliph escaped and fled to Spain. The Arabs accepted him and he founded the Spanish Umayyad dynasty. Their capital was Cordoba
In 750, the Abbasids who ruled Africa, overthrew the Umayyad caliphs and moved the capital from Damascus to Baghdad. One Umayyad caliph escaped and fled to Spain. The Arabs accepted him and he founded the Spanish Umayyad dynasty. Their capital was Cordoba.
Dome of the Rock, __ , __ Dynasty, 687-692, Jerusalem. Dome is made of __ .
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Umayyad Dynasty, 687-692, Jerusalem. Dome is made of wood.
The religion of Islam rose in the Arabian peninsula early in the __ century. During the early centuries of Islam, The Muslim world's political and cultural center was the __ __of Mesopotamia. The __ of Damascus and Baghdad appointed governors to rule the
The religion of Islam rose in the Arabian peninsula early in the seventh century. During the early centuries of Islam, The Muslim world's political and cultural center was the Fertile Crescent of Mesopotamia. The caliphs of Damascus and Baghdad appointed governors to rule the vast territories they controlled.
One of the oldest hypostyle mosques is the __ __ in __.
One of the oldest hypostyle mosques is the Great Mosque in Tunisia.
Life of Muhammad
born ca. 570 in __ to a prominent family that traced its ancestry to Ishmael, son of the Biblical patriarch Abraham;
orphaned as a small child, spent his early years among the Beduin, desert nomads;
became a trader's agent and, at 25, mar
Life of Muhammad
born ca. 570 in Mecca to a prominent family that traced its ancestry to Ishmael, son of the Biblical patriarch Abraham;
orphaned as a small child, spent his early years among the Beduin, desert nomads;
became a trader's agent and, at 25, married his employer, Khadja, a 40 yr.-old widow with whom he had 6 children;
received revelations from God in 610;
in 622, he fled with companions to Yathrib, renamed by the Muslims, Medina ("the prophet's city"); flight is called hijra;
won control of Mecca in 630 with an army of 10,000 followers; and died in Medina in 632.
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