October 10, 2021

Islamic art history: the Abbasid dynasty

Islamic art history: the Abbasid dynasty
Al-Mustansiriyah university in Baghdad, Irak

After overthrowing the Umayyad dynasty in 750, the Abbasids took over the power. They moved the capital to Baghdad in Iran and established another city called Samarra. These cities became the cultural and commercial capitals of the Islamic world. The Abbasids also witnessed the emergence of new Islamic art techniques that announced the beginning of a new era of art.

The Abbasid dynasty allowed the development of decorative stone, ceramic, and wood. Many new methods were created. For example, the beveled style, a new way of carving, was used to create geometric and vegetable forms, which are now well known as arabesque. Moreover, the most important advancement made in Islamic art at that time would be the use of luster painting which gives a glittering effect to ceramic. Overall, the Abbasid period was a moving point for Islamic art and enabled it to spread to other lands.

The Abbasid dynasty’s political unity crumbled as semi-autonomous dynasties were expanding all over the realm. The dynasty ceased when Baghdad was finally overthrown in 1258. This was the last time that the Arab-Muslim empire would be united.

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