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Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Haydar  

Sheila S. Blair

[Sayyid Ḥaydar ibn ?Aṣīl al-Din]

(d 1325–6).

Calligrapher. He was one of the six disciples of Yaqut al-Musta‛simi and earned the nickname ‘writer in large characters’ (Pers. kand-navīs), presumably because of his masterful work designing architectural inscriptions in carved stucco. Two superb examples of his work in this medium survive in Iran: a band (1307–8) across the intrados of the north iwan of the mosque in the shrine complex at Natanz, and the mihrab (1310) in the winter prayer hall of the Friday Mosque at Isfahan. He was a renowned teacher whose pupils included such famous calligraphers as ‛Abdallah Sayrafi, and the viziers Taj al-Din ‛Ali Shah and Ghiyath al-Din, the son of Rashid al-Din. His son Muhammad was a calligrapher, too, and signed several calligraphic specimens (e.g. Istanbul, Topkapı Pal. Lib., H. 2160, fol. 29v and H. 2310, fol. 97v).

Qāżī Aḥmad ibn Mīr Munshī: Gulistān-i hunar [Rose-garden of art] (...

Article

Morocco