For centuries, Al-Andalus, the part of the Iberian Peninsula under Islamic rule between the 8th and 15th centuries, has been the arena in which history and culture, politics and religion, fact and fiction were debated; a meeting place of cultures and races, languages and styles. From the majesty of the mosque/cathedral of Cordoba to the enchanting palaces of the Alhambra, from the bold bronzes of the Umayyads to the delicate silks of the Nasrids, from the faithful interpretations of Roman spolia in caliphal edifices to the persistence of Islamic aesthetics beyond the Christian ‘reconquest’, the art and architecture of Al-Andalus reflect, and at the same time challenge every aspect of this debate, fascinating scholars and amateurs, artists and rulers since the fall of Granada in 1492.
This four-day course will unravel the rich artistic heritage of Islamic Spain within its historical context and will connect it with the traditions of Late Antique Iberia, the early and medieval Islamic world, the Western European Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Finally, it will examine the ways in which this multi-layered and complex past inspired the decorative arts of Spain and the rest of Europe from the twilight years of the Emirate to the Victorian period.
Still available for taking online
020 7898 4451