Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #16 Islamic Glass Art

The Islamic civilization is quite known for its glass art, and so for this edition of Imagining Islamic Aesthetics, we will look briefly into the topic of Islamic Glass Art.

Islamic glass artisans used the Roman technique of making glass that is using calcium-rich sand and Natron, a salt substance previously used for the embalming of Egyptian mummies, up until the 9th century. In the early turn of the millennium, Islamic artisans used plant ash based instead of Natron for soda component in their recipe of glass making. It remained unclear why caused this change, but it is thought that in the 9th century, political unrest in Egypt led to the shortage of Natron supply, forcing the artisans to find another source of soda.

From Louvre Museum - Department of Islamic Art, Richelieu, lower ground floor, room 2

This is one of the earliest examples of Islamic glass art.  It is given the date of production between the 7th and 11th century. The decoration is molded and shows the influences of Roman aesthetic.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

This pitcher is made in the 10th Century in Nishapur. There are medallion decoration around it (albeit unclear)

From the Museum of Fine Arts, Lyon, France - First floor, room 18

A Mosque lamp with enameled and gilt decoration, made in Egypt in the 13th century. During these times glass craft are getting refined in the Islamic world, from the technological advancements made in the production of glass.

From the Louvre Museum, Paris, France - Department of Islamic Art, Richelieu, lower ground floor, room 2, case 3

Another Mosque lamp, bearing the verses of the Al-Quran. A verse from the Chapter An-Nuur decorated the neck of the lamp, while the body shows the name of Sultan al-Malik al-Nasir al-Din Muhammad ibn Qala’un. It is made in the 13th Century, and manufactured in Egypt or Syria. This fine example is one of the product of the Islamic Golden Age of Glass making.

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A tazza (cup) decorated with figural motifs and Arabic inscription of one a verse from an unknown poet. It is made in the middle of the 13th century and manufactured in Syria. Another fine example of Islamic Glass art in its glory.

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1 Comment

Filed under Imagining Islamic Aesthetic

One response to “Imagining Islamic Aesthetics #16 Islamic Glass Art

  1. badran ghosn

    mughal islamic glass art is the peak of islamic glass arts…for ex see it on youtube by search badran106…and you will see amazing arts.
    badran ghosn.

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