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        Color

        View this video clip and image gallery of Islamic art objects related to the theme of color and consider how they are reflective of Islamic culture. View a fritware bottle from Turkey, a Huqqa base from India, a glass bottle from Iran, a silk textile from Spain, a page from the Tahmasp Shanamah, and a hexagonal table from Afghanistan.

        http://www.islamicart.tv/

        Fritware Bottle: 16 C. Turkey

        This image depicts a type of bottle with a bulge on its long neck, a style that was fairly common in Iznik production during the 16th century. The artist who made this piece depicted some of the light, fast ships with lateen sails that were used in both the Ottoman merchant marine and the navy. In a simplistic yet refined fashion, the artist endeavored to capture the green sea as well as the blue sky behind the distended sails.

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        Huqqa Base: 18 C. India

        This image depicts one of a small group of huqqas made of emerald green glass with related decorations. This huqqa displays motifs of poppies and cypresses along with various leaf borders. On some, the motif was painted direct on the green glass. On others, such as this piece, the motif was painted “in reserve,” meaning the gold was largely used as the background for the motif. A few details, such as the ribs or little leaves, were executed in gold or yellow enamel, and sometimes enamel was used inside behind the flower heads.

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        Glass Bottle With Birds: 9 C. Iran

        This image depicts a glass bottle created using the luster technique. In this technique, a decoration of metal oxides is painted on the ready blown glass, which takes on an indiscernible metallic luster after firing. By using different metal oxides, different colors could be produced, as we see on this bottle, whose base and neck have lighter tones. The stylized vine leaves on the decoration are related to Abbasid ornamentation, which would indicate that the bottle should be dated to the early Tulunid period. The luster technique was probably discovered by Egyptian glass-makers as early as the 4th century, but in the 8th-12th century it experienced a renaissance in Egypt and Syria.

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        Andalusian Silk Textile: 9 C. Spain

        This image depicts an Andalusian silk textile containing the inscription, “I exist for pleasure, welcome, for pleasure I am; each one who sees me sees joy and well being.” This repeated, self-indulgent verse in Arabic corresponds quite well to the mood that must have prevailed in Nasrid Granada – part of the Islamic world that had to accept that it would be incorporated into Christian Spain at any time.

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        Page from Tahmasp Shanamah: 16 C. Iran

        This image depicts a miniature from a copy of Firdawsi’s "Book of Kings" made for Shah Ismail I and Shah Tahmasp. The page contains Isfandiyar’s Fifth Ordeal, "He must slay he Simurgh."

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        Hexagonal Table: 11-12 C. Afghanistan

        This image depicts one of the oldest known tables in the Islamic world. Its decorative details, especially the ones made in black and the incising technique itself, are elements that are also found in slightly older Samanid ceramics from the 10th century. Carbon-14 analyses show that the exceedingly well-preserved table was made in the 11th-12th century. This means that along with the one in the al-Sabbah Collection in Kuwait, it is the oldest known table of a popular type in the Islamic world.

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        Color Video

        This clip from "Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World," introduces the role of color to animate and bring to life Islamic art. Learn how vivid color was used to celebrate and elevate more than just buildings and objects. Color was represented in objects such as foods, clothes and textiles.

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