Western Islamic Painted Wooden Relief Panel
11th - 12th Century AD
Islamic, from Spain, Almoravid
approx. 100 cm x 40 cm
Description This beautifully carved painted wooden panel is an extremely rare and important example of 12th century Islamic architectural decoration from the Iberian Peninsula. The relief work bears a distinct likeness to motifs from the Caliphal period, such as those featured on the 10th century Umayyad Great Mosque of Cordoba and the famed palaces of Madinat al-Zahra. This was a carefully calculated decision by the Berber rulers of 12th century Spain: through referencing and patronizing the courtly culture of the powerful and legitimate Umayyad dynasty, the Almoravids and Almohads linked themselves to the greatest achievements of Islamic Spain, strengthening their claim to rule through the use of artistic and architectural propaganda.
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