Choose one of the following essay questions:
1. How did the Umayyads incorporate earlier (i.e. Byzantine or Sasanian motifs)
and styles into the decorative programmes of their palaces and mosques?
What meanings did these motifs have in their new contexts?
Suggested Bibliography:
-Garth Fowden, Qusayr ‘Amra: Art and the Umayyad Elite in Late Antique
Syria (Berkeley, 2004):
-Alain George and Andrew Marsham, eds., Power, Patronage, and Memory in
Early Islam: Perspectives on Umayyad Elites (Oxford, 2018):
-Alain George, The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus: Art, Faith, and Empire in
Early Islam (London, 2021):
-Nasser Rabbat, ‘The Dialogic Dimension of Umayyad Art’, Res: Anthropology
and Aesthetics 43 (Spring, 2003): 78-94:
2. What are the fundamental characteristics of Abbasid art? What visual features
did the Abbasids value in their art and architecture?
Suggested Bibliography:
-Marcus Milwright, ‘Samarra and Abbasid ornament’, in F. B. Flood and G.
Necipoğlu, eds., A Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture (2017):


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