Spring 2009

Al-Andalus: The Arts of Islamic Spain

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-92


Andaleeb B. Banta (Section 03)


From the eighth to the fifteenth century, the Iberian peninsula flourished under Muslim control and became the site of significant architectural and artistic production. This complex and important period in Spain’s history will be the focus of this course, in which we will explore the art and architecture created during the Umayyad, Almoravid, and Almohad, and Nasrid dynasties. Major monuments, such as the Great Mosque and Medinat al-Zahra in Cordoba and the Alhambra and the Generalife in Granada, will figure prominently in assessments of the innovations and developments in architecture during this period. The decorative arts-carved ivories, metalwork, and textiles; manuscript painting; and relief sculpture will also be covered. Central to our discussions will be questions about cross-cultural exchange, the validity of the term “Islamic” to describe the artistic production of Spain during this time, and the lasting influence that Islamic rule had on subsequent artistic forms in Spain. Limited to 15 students. Offered once Spring semester. Visiting Assistant Professor Banta.