Art of Islam by Carel J. Du Ky

By Carel J. Du Ky

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The name is is in stark contrast to the desolate condition in which this once so flourishing metropolis finds itself today. Bet\veen 838 and 883, when Samarra was capital of the "Abbasid Caliphate, the for almost half a century worldwide reputation in ceramic art. Harun ar-Rashid (786-809) by way form and decoration The Chinese porcelain of ambassadorial gifts as of the technical perfection of that city established a had entered the country had stimulated in the time of much of good pipeclay made direct imitation, not so Chinese stoneware.

ARCHITECTURAL ORNAMENTATION With the use of burned brick as building technique had already been long had sufficient known and the introduction of stucco decoration. Tlie stucco frequently applied in the Sassanian period, so the 'Abbasids by their motifs and partly by in Mshatta, while some measure from the first. its In origin it, must be sought naturalism is tionalized plant motifs, with the scroll-like stems omitted. compartments, smaller than in the previous style, so that in completely 1 he the in pre-Christian set aside in surface first The their technique.

This Since large wall surfaces were to be covered. "negative" models of the desired decoration were carved in wood, and from these a "positive" impression was made 44 in tlie stucco. This method is only practicable in low relief. ^ and palaces in Samarra, we are confronted for liic first time in phenomenon of the continuity of motifs. In one mysterious manner or another, certain tlicmes find their way through the ages in the same region, irrespective of the branch of art or craft in which they make their appearance.

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