Friday, November 18, 2011

Artist of the Week No.6

Islamic Art, La Alhambra de Granada


Sadly, all of my photos from my high school Spanish trip were taken BEFORE my digital camera, so these are from the internet.

La Alhambra is a palace and fortress in Granada, Spain.  It was the last Moorish (Muslim) stronghold in Spain during the Catholic Reconquest under King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile and León.  Completed towards the end of Muslim rule of Spain by Yusuf I (1333–1353) and Muhammed V, Sultan of Granada (1353–1391).  This fortress held off K. Ferdinand and Q. Isabella when they were forcing everyone to convert to Catholicism, until 1492.  Check that date.  This was built before Columbus came to America!

from here.

The Court of the Lions above is one of my favorite fountains in Spain. It was created and functioned well before indoor plumbing!

And all the mirror pools around the palace are remarkable, like the one below.
from here.

The carvings in the palace are overwhelmingly gorgeous.  They say allah is god, over and over in the most amazing calligraphy I've ever seen.  Regardless of my views on any religion as an artist I can appreciate the craftsmanship of such an extraordinary structure.
from here.
from here.
from here.

Unlike many palaces in Europe you will not see tapestries or paintings here.  It is against the Qur'an to draw human figures, as they believe only god has the power to create life (including visual creation).  But what the palace lacks in human figures it more than makes up for in geometric pattern and form.  The decadent geometric mosaics found on the walls are so intricate you could get a headache from trying to follow the artist's pattern making.  I wasn't that great at math so the tessellations created here are impossible for me to recreate in my own art.  I think that's why I have so much respect and appreciation for them.

from here.

from here.

from here.

from here.

from here.

Happy Art History Educating!

1 comment:

  1. Soooo gorgeous. Could stare and wander for hours.

    ReplyDelete