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Article

Seton Lloyd

[Arab. ‛Aqarqūf; anc. Dur Kurigalzu]

. Site in Iraq of the ancient capital city of the Kassites, which flourished c. 1400–1157 bc (see also Mesopotamia, §I, 2). The ruins of ancient Dur Kurigalzu are 15 km west of modern Baghdad, at the point where an outcrop of soft limestone marks the northern extremity of the alluvial plain. The eroded core of its Ziggurat (now partly rest.) is visible from the highway leading west to Ramūdī and the desert crossing to Jordan. The mud-brick fabric of its structure is reinforced with deep layers of reed-matting and faced on all sides with kiln-baked brick.

Iraqi excavations at Aqar Quf in 1942–5 under Taha Baqir led to the discovery of a complex of temple buildings at the foot of the ziggurat itself. A Kassite dynasty ruled Babylonia from the 16th century to the 12th century bc, apparently maintaining the ancient civic and religious traditions of Mesopotamia. The architecture of this temple precinct was therefore characteristic of the period (...

Article

[Akkoyunlu]

Islamic dynasty that ruled in eastern Anatolia, Iran and Iraq from 1378 to 1508. The Aqqoyunlu (Turk.: ‘White Sheep’) were a group of Sunni Turkomans that rose to power by supporting Timur, eponym of the Timurid dynasty, against the Ottomans in western Anatolia. By allying with Timur, the first Aqqoyunlu ruler Qara Yülük (who had a Greek mother and married a Byzantine princess) was granted the region of Diyar Bakr in south-eastern Anatolia. In 1467 the Aqqoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan (reg 1453–78) killed the Qaraqoyunlu leader Jahanshah in battle and moved the capital from Amid (now Diyarbakır in Turkey) to Tabriz in Iran. The Aqqoyunlu then took control of Azerbaijan and, briefly, much of Iraq and northern Iran. They became a power of international significance and opened diplomatic relations with Venice. The position of the Aqqoyunlu was not seriously threatened under Uzun Hasan’s son Ya‛qub (reg 1478–90), but conflicts among his successors allowed Isma‛il I, the founder of the ...

Article

Mitra Monir Abbaspour

[Fondation Arabe pour l’Image]

Non-profit organization established in 1997 in Beirut, Lebanon, with a mission ‘to collect, preserve, and study photographs from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab diaspora’. Its growing collection contains more than 400,000 photographs that date from the mid-19th century to the present. Today the Arab Image Foundation serves as both a public research archive and a repository for its members’ art and scholarship.

The Arab Image Foundation was co-founded by Lebanese photographers Fouad Elkoury (b 1952) and Samer Mohdad (b 1964), and artist Akram Zaatari (b 1966). Executive Director Zeina Arida (b 1970) has since overseen its administration and fundraising. A group of artists and scholar members, along with Arida, form the Board of Directors, which is responsible for the acquisition of photographs, approval of archival projects, and conceptual direction of the Arab Image Foundation. Members of the foundation, including artists such as ...

Article

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tehran, 1934).

Iranian sculptor. Trained at the College of Decorative Arts, Tehran, he held his first solo exhibition at the Iran-India Center, Tehran in 1964. Inspired by Achaemenid and Assyrian art as well as by Babylonian carvings and inscriptions, Arabshahi has been associated with Hussein Zenderoudi, Parviz Tanavoli, and the Saqqakhana movement. His work has been shown in Iran, Europe, and the United States. Among his major commissions are sculptures and architectural reliefs for the Office for Industry and Mining, Tehran (...

Article

Gordon Campbell

(b Tel Aviv, 1951).

Israeli designer, active in Britain. In 1981 Arad founded, with Caroline Thorman, One Off Ltd, a design studio, workshops and showroom in Covent Garden, London. In 1989, again with Caroline Thorman, he founded Ron Arad Associates, an architecture and design practice in Chalk Farm. In 1994 he established the Ron Arad Studio in Como (Italy). His most famous design is the Rover Chair, which recycled used Rover car seats. He has long had an interest in the use of steel, and the Bookwork bookshelves (...

Article

A. R. Millard

Term for an ancient people of the Near East, prominent in the 1st millennium bc. Their origins are obscure; they were probably semi-nomadic tribesmen driven from the Syrian steppe by drought. By about 1000 bc they had occupied an arc of land from Babylonia to southern Lebanon. In the east the ancient local culture absorbed them. In the west they took over the cities and turned many of them into autonomous tribal centres, principally Aram (Damascus), Arpad (Bit-Agusi) to the north of Aleppo, Bit-Adini east of the bend of the River Euphrates, and Bit-Bahiani at Guzana (Halaf, Tell) on the River Khabur. The earlier inhabitants mixed with the newcomers, and at Hamath (Hama) on the River Orontes a local Neo-Hittite dynasty retained control until c. 800 bc. Hardly had Aramaean kings taken power than they had to fight the Assyrians, who campaigned westwards from c. 900 bc, taking Damascus in ...

Article

Ardabil  

Abbas Daneshvari

[Ardabīl; Ardebil]

City in Azerbaijan in north-west Iran c. 180 km east of Tabriz, situated on the eastern slopes of Mt Sabalan, an extinct volcano, and with a population of c. 222,000. Founded in the pre-Islamic period, it flourished after the Arab conquest in the 7th century, often serving as the capital of Azerbaijan. It was sacked by the Mongols in 1220 and was subsequently overshadowed by Tabriz, but its partial recovery was marked by the erection of a new congregational mosque in the early 14th century. Now ruined, this consisted of a rectangular hypostyle prayer-hall with a square domed ‘sanctuary’ in front of the mihrab.

Ardabil became one of Iran’s holiest cities under the Safavid family dynasty (reg 1501–1732), which was descended from a local mystic, Shaykh Safi al-Din Ishaq (d 1334). Through the patronage of the Safavid shahs, his tomb and the associated hospice (khānaqāh) became an important shrine. The main buildings are clustered around a rectangular paved courtyard. On the north side is the Jannatsaray (...

Article

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(b Tehran, March 9, 1939).

Iranian architect, urban planner and writer. He studied architecture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (BA, 1961) and at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (March, 1962). He worked in several firms in the USA, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, before returning to Iran to work for the National Iranian Oil Company (1964–6). In 1966 he became Design Partner for Iran’s largest archictectural firm, Abdul Aziz Farman Farmaian & Associates, in Tehran, and in 1972 he set up his own practice in Tehran, the Mandala Collaborative. Ardalan, whose work ranges from private residences to master plans for new towns, is one of the most important architects to emerge from Iran in the recent past. His work reflects his particular concern for cultural and ecological aspects of architecture; in Iran it is strongly rooted in an understanding of the traditions and forms of Iranian Islam, although his buildings are in a totally contemporary idiom. Perhaps his best-known work is the Iran Centre for Management Studies (...

Article

Abbas Daneshvari

[Ardistāni; Ardestān]

Iranian town in the province of Isfahan, just east of the road from Natanz to Na’in. It occupies an ancient site and preserves the ruins of a Sasanian fire-temple, but the most important monuments date from the medieval period, when Ardistan was a flourishing agricultural centre, renowned for its silk. By the 10th century the town was fortified and had five gates. Its congregational mosque, which now has a four-iwan plan, was first built during this period; a tunnel-vaulted arcade in the south-west corner with a fragmentary kufic inscription and polylobed piers can be attributed to the 10th century, when similar work was done on the Friday Mosque at Isfahan (see Islamic art, §ii, 5(i)(a)). In 1158–60 the mosque was remodelled on the orders of Abu Tahir Husayn ibn Ghali ibn Ahmad by the master Mahmud ibn al-Isfahani known as al-Ghazi (see Islamic art, §ii, 5(i)(b)). The domed bay in front of the mihrab and the adjacent qibla iwan date from this rebuilding and are notable for their original decoration, which includes three stucco mihrabs, brickwork highlighted in red and white and plaster decoration in purple, yellow, white and blue. In ...

Article

[Bronstein, Max]

(b Tuchów, Poland, July 13, 1896; d Jerusalem, June 18, 1992).

Israeli painter of Polish birth. As a young boy he greatly admired El Greco, Goya and Rembrandt. From 1920 to 1925 he studied at the Bauhaus, Weimar, under Klee, Kandinsky, Johannes Itten and Lyonel Feininger and the following year studied painting techniques at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich under Max Doerner. During the 1920s he changed his name from Max Bronstein to Mordecai Ardon. He taught at the Kunstschule Itten in Berlin from 1929 to 1933, when Nazi persecution forced him to flee to Jerusalem. Though he had been an active Communist in Germany, in Jerusalem he soon found a great affinity with Jewish religion and culture. In 1935 he was made a professor at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem, and was its Director from 1940 to 1952.

Ardon’s early paintings show the influence of Expressionism, as in Seated Woman in a Straw Chair...

Article

(b Rādāuţi, Bukovina, April 28, 1929; d Paris, April 29, 2010).

Israeli painter, draughtsman, printmaker and writer, of Romanian birth, active in France. The drawings he made in deportation from Nazi labour camps at the age of 13 and 14 saved his life by attracting attention to his precocious talent. In 1944 he emigrated to Israel, living in a kibbutz near Jerusalem and studying art at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem; after being severely wounded in 1948 in the Israeli War of Independence, he continued his studies in Paris (which he made his home in 1954) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1949–51). He first made his name as an illustrator, for example of an edition of Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Way of Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke (Jerusalem, 1953), for which he was awarded a gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1954. From 1957 to 1965 he produced abstract paintings, such as Noir basse...

Article

Dennis Raverty

(b Tehran, Jul 10, 1939).

American sculptor of Iranian birth. Armajani studied in Iran at the University of Tehran before immigrating to the USA in 1960 to complete his studies in philosophy at Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN, where he settled permanently. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1967. Armajani used the language of vernacular architecture in his sculpture to create spaces into which the viewer moves, sometimes being literally surrounded by the sculpture. Cellar doors, back stairways, loading docks, benches, bridges, porches, gazebos, and other such homely architectural elements are the inspiration for his sculptures and installations. Early in Armajani’s career he was on the faculty of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he lectured on philosophy and conceptual art, but he left teaching in 1975 to concentrate exclusively on his sculpture.

Armajani stated repeatedly that his intention was to create a “neighborly” space, that is, a space that brings people together. His public sculpture is perhaps best thought of as social sculpture, in the sense meant by postwar German artist Joseph Beuys: a community-seeking, politically progressive, public art. Armajani’s many commissions include the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge in Minneapolis (...

Article

Armant  

M. S. Drower

[anc. Gr. Hermonthis; Copt. Ermont]

City in Egypt, on the west bank of the Nile, some 10 km south of Luxor. It was at first called Iunu-Shema (Egyp.: ‘the southern Heliopolis’) and Iunu-Montu (Egyp.: ‘Heliopolis of the war-god Montu’), from which subsequent names derive. It was the capital of the fourth nome (administrative province) of Upper Egypt throughout the Old Kingdom (c. 2575–c. 2150 bc), until the rise of the city of Thebes. Armant was the original home of the Mentuhotpe family, the founders of the 11th Dynasty. Preliminary excavations in the town area (1935–7) uncovered stone relief blocks of many periods; a few delicate reliefs of the 11th Dynasty show Sankhkare Mentuhotpe III in the company of Montu and his consorts the goddesses Iuniyt and Teneniyt. Some lower courses of a New Kingdom temple were uncovered, including the base of an 18th Dynasty Pylon bearing a depiction of a lively procession of Nubian captives headed by a rhinoceros. A granite stele, found near by, records various exploits, such as the capture of a rhinoceros by Tuthmosis III....

Article

Lucy Der Manuelian, Armen Zarian, Vrej Nersessian, Nonna S. Stepanyan, Murray L. Eiland and Dickran Kouymjian

[Hayasdan; Hayq; anc. Pers. Armina]

Country in the southern part of the Transcaucasian region; its capital is Erevan. Present-day Armenia is bounded by Georgia to the north, Iran to the south-east, Azerbaijan to the east and Turkey to the west. From 1920 to 1991 Armenia was a Soviet Socialist Republic within the USSR, but historically its land encompassed a much greater area including parts of all present-day bordering countries (see fig.). At its greatest extent it occupied the plateau covering most of what is now central and eastern Turkey (c. 300,000 sq. km) bounded on the north by the Pontic Range and on the south by the Taurus and Kurdistan mountains. During the 11th century another Armenian state was formed to the west of Historic Armenia on the Cilician plain in south-east Asia Minor, bounded by the Taurus Mountains on the west and the Amanus (Nur) Mountains on the east. Its strategic location between East and West made Historic or Greater Armenia an important country to control, and for centuries it was a battlefield in the struggle for power between surrounding empires. Periods of domination and division have alternated with centuries of independence, during which the country was divided into one or more kingdoms....

Article

(b Kharkiv, Ukraine, 1908; d Jerusalem, Oct 15, 1974).

Israeli painter of Ukrainian birth. His family settled in Palestine in 1924 and he then studied at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem for a year and a half. In 1934 he travelled to Paris where he studied at the Académie Colarossi under Léger, returning to Tel Aviv in 1935. In 1937 he produced stage designs for the Habimah and Ohel theatres in Tel Aviv and the following year had his first one-man show at the Santee Landwer Gallery in Amsterdam. He worked with Zvi Mairovich at Zichron Yaacov in 1942 and also exhibited landscape works with the Group of Seven. Typical of his paintings of this period is Street in a Rural Settlement (1942; Tel Aviv Mus. A.)

From 1942 to 1946 Aroch fought with the British army and on his discharge settled in Tel Aviv. In 1948 he was one of the founder-members of the ...

Article

Ismail Hijara

Prehistoric site in northern Iraq situated c. 6 km north-east of Nineveh and 9 km east of the River Tigris. Its low mound (120 m in diameter and 11.5 m high) was excavated by Max Mallowan in 1933 and by Ismail Hijara in 1976. These excavations show that Arpachiyah was occupied during the Halaf (c. 5200–c. 4500 bc) and Ubaid (5th millennium bc) periods (see Mesopotamia, §I, 2, (i), (a),1). The finds made in 1933 were divided between the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and Mosul and various other institutions, including the British Museum, London, and the Institute of Archaeology, London University. The finds of 1976 are all in Iraq.

The Halaf settlement is represented by a deposit 7.5 m deep occupying the whole site. On the basis of the finds in this deposit a framework for the classification of Halaf pottery was first established, which has since been elaborated. Arpachiyah provides most of the evidence for the Halaf sequence and is therefore a key site for comparative studies with other sites. Such an accumulation presumably reflects a lengthy occupation and may represent the full extent of the Halaf cultural period. It is the only site so far to yield a wide range of stratified pottery of the Early Halaf period....

Article

Lale H. Uluç

(b Istanbul, 1875; d 1971).

Turkish art historian . The son of the grand vizier Ahmed Esad Pasha (1828–75), he was forced in 1891 to follow family tradition and enrol at the Military Academy rather than at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul as he desired. Nevertheless, he pursued his artistic interests among a group of military artists and resigned shortly after he was graduated. He then travelled extensively, researching and writing about Turkish art until 1912, when he became a civil servant. In 1920 he started teaching municipal administration, town planning and architectural history at the Academy of Fine Arts. A highly versatile intellectual, he was also an administrator, academician, editor, film director, musician, painter, photographer, novelist and translator. He wrote about the functioning of municipalities, urbanism, the history of Istanbul, modern architecture, the history of Turkish art and music, photography, painting techniques and librarianship, as well as his memoirs, a dictionary and an encyclopedia of art. His most significant contribution to the history of culture was his effort to establish Turkish art as distinct from Islamic art....

Article

John M. Russell

[Turk.: ‘lion-stone’ ; anc. Hadatu]

Site in Syria, c. 35 km north-east of Til Barsip on the Harran–Euphrates road. It was an Assyrian town: its ancient name, preserved in two inscriptions from the site, is mentioned elsewhere only in the ‘Harran Census’ (7th century bc). The site was excavated by François Thureau-Dangin in 1928; finds are in the Louvre, Paris, and in the National Museum, Aleppo. The Assyrian features recovered were a town wall with three gates, a palace, a large house and a small temple dedicated to the goddess Ishtar. Later remains included a small Hellenistic temple. The town wall (l. c. 2 km) enclosed a roughly oval area of 30 ha. Two colossal basalt lions in the east gate gave the site its modern name, and fragments of another two were also found in the west gate. A cuneiform inscription on one fragment mentions Hadatu. Another, originally against the wall, is inscribed with a lengthy Aramaic text that includes a fragmentary personal name ...

Article

Marcella Frangipane

[ Malatya]

Site in eastern Turkey, in the Malatya Plain on the right bank of the River Euphrates. It is a large artificial mound (h. c. 30 m) formed by the superposition of successive dwellings from about the 5th millennium bc to the Islamic period, c. 12th century ad. It was a strategic political and economic centre, especially in the Late Uruk period (c. 3300–c. 2900 bc), and was important in the cultural contexts of both Mesopotamia and Anatolia, ancient. Finds from the excavations are housed in the Malatya Museum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara.

Excavations in the southern area of the mound have revealed a stratified succession of four monumental public buildings of mud-brick at a depth of c. 8 m; radiocarbon dating has suggested that these structures were built c. 3300–3000 bc. Most have thick walls and stone foundations, and contain several rooms. Many niches, plastered and painted white, or more rarely red, are set in the interior walls. Building I, the most recent, has a recognizable temple plan with a rectangular cella containing a central podium and a basin for sacrifices against the end wall; on one side are two communicating rooms for storage. The walls of the main room are richly decorated with concentric ovals stamped with a mould, comparable to an example from southern Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in Uruk itself....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

[Arab. Al-fann wa’l-ḥurriyya]

Egyptian group of Surrealist writers, artists and intellectuals founded on 9 January 1939 by the poet Georges Hunain (1914–73). The group included the Egyptian painters Ramsis Yunan (1914–66), Fu’ad Kamil (1919–73) and Kamil al-Talamsani (1917–72). Inspired by the work of André Breton, whom Hunain met in Paris in 1936, the aim of the group was to defend freedom in art by stressing the liberating role of the individual imagination. On 22 December 1938 Hunain and his colleagues signed a manifesto entitled ‘Vive l’Art Dégénéré’, which protested against Fascism, particularly Hitler’s claim that modern art was degenerate. The manifesto was followed by further writings, conferences and debates. Artists from the group exhibited work in June 1939 at the premises of Art and Freedom at 28 Shari‛ al-Madabigh in Cairo. In January 1940 the magazine al-Ta ṭawwur was launched, which presented ideas behind modern art to an Egyptian audience. This was followed in ...