Thursday, January 30, 2020
Islamic Pottery Essay Example for Free
Islamic Pottery Essay Medieval Islamic pottery occupied a geographical position between Chinese ceramics and the pottery of the Byzantine Empire and Europe. For most of the period it can fairly be said to have been between the two in terms of aesthetic achievement and influence as well, borrowing from China and exporting to and influencing Byzantium and Europe. The use of drinking and eating vessels in gold and silver, the ideal in ancient Rome and Persia as well as medieval Christian societies, is prohibited by the Hadiths, with the result that pottery and glass were used for tableware by Muslim elites, as pottery (but less often glass) also was in China, but was much rarer in Europe and Byzantium. Islamic restrictions In the same way Islamic restrictions greatly discouraged figurative wall-painting, encouraging the architectural use of schemes of decorative tiles, which are the most distinctive and original speciality of Islamic ceramics. Era of Islamic Pottery The era of Islamic pottery started around 622. From 633, Muslims armies moved rapidly towards Persia, Byzantium, Mesopotimia, Anatolia, Egypt and later Andalusia. Early History of Islamic Pottery The early history of Islamic pottery remains somewhat obscure and speculative as little evidence has survived. Apart from tiles which escaped destruction due to their use in architectural decoration of buildings and mosques, much early medieval pottery vanished. The Muslim world inherited significant pottery industries in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, North Africa (African Red Slip) and later other regions. Early Medieval (622-1200) A distinct Muslim style in pottery was not firmly established until the 9th century in Iraq (formerly Mesopotamia), Syria and Persia. During this period pieces mainly used white tin-glaze. Information on earlier periods is very limited. This is largely due to the lack of surviving specimens in good condition which also limits the interest in the study of ceramics of these periods. The most highly regarded technique of this centre is the use of calligraphy in the decoration of vessels. Chinese influence on Islamic Pottery During the Abbasid dynasty pottery production gained momentum, largely using tin glazes mostly in the form of opaque white glaze. Some historians, such as Arthur Lane, attribute the rise of such industry to Chinese influence. Three main phases According to Lane, the influence of Chinese pottery progressed in three main phases. Ã ·The first contact with China took place in 751 when the Arabs defeated the Chinese at the Battle of Talas. It has been argued that imprisoned Chinese potters and paper makers could have taught the Muslims the art of pottery and paper-making. In 800Ã¢â¬â¢s Chinese stoneware and porcelain reached the Abbasids. Ã ·The second phase took place in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a period noted for the decline of pottery industry following the fall of the Seljuk dynasty. This period also saw the invasion of the Mongols who brought Chinese pottery traditions. Ã ·The third phase was in the fifteenth century, when much of this influence came through imports made from Tang, Song and Ming dynasties at the hand of Zheng He. Islamic innovations From between the eighth and eighteenth centuries, the use of glazed ceramics was prevalent in Islamic art, usually assuming the form of elaborate pottery. Tin-opacifiedglazing, for the production of tin-glazed pottery, was one of the earliest new technologies developed by the Islamic potters. Middle (1200Ã¢â¬â1400) By this period the distinctive Islamic tradition of decorated wall tiles had emerged, and continued to develop together with vessel pottery in a way unique to Islamic art. The Seljuks brought new and fresh inspiration to the Muslim world, attracting artists, craftsmen and potters from all regions including Egypt. In addition to continuing the production of similar (although more refined) tin and lustre glaze ceramics, the Seljuks (in Persia) were credited for the introduction of a new type sometimes known as Faience. This is made from a hard white frit paste coated with transparent alkaline glaze. Examples of Islamic Period Pottery Ã ·Glazed pottery Ã ·Unglazed pottery Glazed pottery Glazed pottery is typical for the Islamic Period in Egypt, but there is evidence that is was already introduced in the Byzantine Period (Engeman 1990). In contrast to Faience and the glazed materials of the Pharaonic period, true glass was used as glazing. Colours were produced by adding metallic oxides. When transparent it could be applied over paintings. Unglazed pottery Ã ·Water jugs had often filters built into the neck for keeping out the flies. Especially the examples from Egypt are produced with great delicacy. Ã ·Most of the pottery of daily use produced in the Islamic period (including down to today) is unglazed. Ã ·Vessels of uncertain function, with compact fabric: suggestions for use vary from military projectiles to storage of vintage wine.