Art and Architecture

The Transformation of Islamic Art during the Sunni Revival

The Islamic world underwent profound political and religious changes in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. These changes were paralleled by one of the most significant transformations of Islamic art and architecture. What shared meaning lies at the origins of these two historical developments? How, if at all, were these paralleled transformations part of the same struggle? The Transformation of Islamic Art during the Sunni Revival takes us into this dialogue. This work consists of seven chapters, including a plethora of beautiful photographs, in which Yasser Tabbaa, a professor at the University of Michigan and a highly regarded Islamic art scholar, argues that the transformations in medieval Islamic architecture and ornament during this period reflected and embodied the conflict between the ‘Abbasid and Fatimid dynasties. It is in the struggle for political authority and religious legitimacy that new and competing forms of expression took hold.

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